VICTORIA, B.C. — Premier John Horgan announced today that the NDP government has overhauled the policy framework for future natural gas and LNG projects in B.C., ensuring they adhere to climate targets.
The Premier reiterated his party’s stance during last May’s election that projects should guarantee a fair return for B.C.’s resources, guarantee jobs and training for B.C. residents, partner with First Nations, and protect the environment. He said that the four conditions form the basis for government’s discussions with LNG Canada.
The project would see a natural gas pipeline built from northeast B.C. to Kitimat, where a new LNG export terminal will process and ship LNG to Asian markets. It is expected to create up to 10,000 construction jobs and up to 950 full time jobs in northern B.C.
“Our new approach welcomes investment that puts our province’s people and future first, and rejects the old ways of resource development at any cost,” said Horgan. “Our obligation is to the people who call British Columbia home, and our job is to get the best deal for them and the generations that follow. No premier or government can dismiss this kind of critical economic opportunity for the people of British Columbia. “But neither will we turn our back on our commitment to climate targets, or our path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
In a release, the government said that a revised fiscal frameworks been at the centre of the discussions with LNG Canada, and is designed to put natural gas development on a level playing field with other industrial sectors. Under the new framework natural gas developers, including LNG Canada, will get PST relief in line with the policy for manufacturing sectors, subject to repayment in the form of an equivalent operational payment, general industrial electricity rates consistent with other industrial users in B.C., and the elimination of the LNG income tax that had required LNG-specific tax rates.
“The LNG Canada proposal has the potential to earn tens of billions of dollars and create thousands of jobs for British Columbians over the life of the project,” said Horgan. “It’s a private-sector investment that could benefit our province for decades to come, but not at any price – we need to make sure the values British Columbians believe in come first.”
The Premier said his government will also expect the LNG Canada project to fit within the goals of the Province’s climate-change plan and, specifically, its legislated GHG reduction targets.
“We committed, during the election campaign, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 2007 levels by 2030, and by 80% by 2050. That remains our goal,” added Horgan. “We cannot achieve the necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and do our part in protecting the global environment without a significant shift to a low carbon economy. The work for all of us – in government, business, labour and beyond – is only just beginning. And all resource development proposals must be considered within the context of our global commitment to protecting our air, land and water.”
With B.C.’s new fiscal framework provided to LNG Canada this week, the government said it anticipates the company will make a final investment decision sometime before the end of this year.