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Horgan says that staff have not misled him on LNG

BC Premier John Horgan speaks at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo by Government of B.C.
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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — BC Premier John Horgan says that his staff did not mislead him on the topic of LNG, contrary to what Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said earlier today.

On a conference call from the South Korean capital today, Horgan stated that he spoke with Weaver earlier this week about Weaver’s tweets, which said that the Greens would bring down the minority NDP government if Horgan pursued bringing an LNG industry to B.C.

“There are legions of public servants that have been working on this file for a long, long time, and I would take their advice first and foremost, and then consult broadly with other stakeholders,” said Horgan. “I don’t mean to diminish Andrew’s role as a stakeholder, that’s not meant in a perjorative way. But there are lots of people with lots of ideas on climate action and the impact of our plans as Minister Heyman is developing them. I’m confident that we can walk through this and get to the point that I want to get to, and that’s reducing our emissions.”

Horgan’s comments are in contrast to those made by Weaver while being interviewed by CKNW’s Jon McComb this morning when he said that Horgan was getting incorrect information from senior staffers. For his part, Horgan added that Weaver is very passionate about the topic of climate change and that they’ll have a face-to-face meeting when he gets back from Asia.

Horgan stated that so far on his trip to China, South Korea, and Japan that he met with officials from prospective LNG export partnerships including Korean Gas Corporation and PetroChina about their stakes in LNG Canada, which is due to make a final investment decision later this year.

“When I toured the Northwest recently I met with LNG Canada. I met with Kitimat LNG, and I committed to LNG Canada that since were visiting three countries that make up the joint venture partners, I committed to meet with those organizations. I met with KOGAS and PetroChina I reminded them that we have four key pillars in our LNG strategy: ensuring that there’s a return for British Columbia, that British Columbians get put to work, that Indigenous communities are partners, not just consulted with and then moved on, and lastly that we meet our climate objectives.”

Horgan said that the Canadian Ambassadors to China and Korea were also at the meetings and reaffirmed to the firms that the province will have a carbon price of $50 per tonne by 2022. When asked about other potential players from Asia that could invest in a B.C. LNG industry, Horgan said that while Pacific NorthWest LNG isn’t looking at resurrecting their bid to build a terminal, other players including Kitimat LNG and Australia’s Woodside are looking for joint venture partners.

“There are opportunities but again, they have to fit into our plan. It’s not just about chasing the market, it’s about making sure that the market, when it does come back to a place where we can be competitive, that we’re meeting all of our other environmental and social objectives.”

Horgan also once again expressed his desire to visit Northeast B.C. as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

“I had a very good exchange with Mayor Ackerman at the Natural Resource Forum in Prince George. She, of course, has invited me to the region. I’m going to get there as soon as I can to talk about a range of issues: energy, as well as health and education.”

With files from Global BC/CKNW: https://globalnews.ca/news/3989404/andrew-weaver-lng-threat-to-john-horgan/

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