Peace Region mayors travelling to Ottawa to talk LNG with Feds

Mayors Lori Ackerman and Dale Bumstead joined onstage at the BC Natural Resources Forum by those in attendance asking the provincial and federal governments to support an LNG industry in B.C. Photo by @marksalkeldsr/Twitter

OTTAWA, O.N. — Five mayors from the Peace Region will joined by the mayors of Kitimat and Terrace in meetings with the federal government this week on the topic of getting an liquified natural gas export industry realized in B.C.

The seven mayors, including those from Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Pouce Coupe, Taylor, and Tumbler Ridge, are scheduled to be meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday and Thursday to showcase to the government the benefits that an LNG export industry would bring to their communities, as well as to the rest of B.C. and Canada. In a joint press release today, There is broad support for LNG in B.C. amongst the communities that are most directly affected by the proposed activity.

“This new industry will bring new investment, create new jobs, business and training opportunities and bring new revenue to B.C. that will help support social services including hospitals, schools, transportation and public safety,” said Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman. “These are not just benefits for northern B.C. but benefits that will be experienced throughout the province and all of Canada. Canadians will see the benefits of adding value to our natural gas, diversifying our trade opportunities, instead of allowing our natural gas to be shipped raw to the U.S., which is currently our only market outside of Canada.”

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The mayors are also planning on bringing up the tariffs on fabricated industrial steel components imported from Asia that could jeopardize the development of such an industry by making proposed projects less competitive in the global economy. The mayors say that consideration should be given to exempting LNG modules from FISC tariffs in order to level the playing field for potential LNG investors.

“Fabricated industrial steel components tariffs are intended to prevent Asian markets from dumping subsidized products into Canadian markets in order to protect our producers,” said Kitimat mayor Phil Germuth. “However, it is absolutely necessary for LNG proponents in B.C. to import large fabricated modules to develop their liquefaction plants. “We feel it would be an absolute shame if our country missed out on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure billions of dollars of investment. We need to create a level playing field in order to be competitive on the global stage, so that we don’t see Canadian investment and jobs disappear. If just one of the proposed projects, LNG Canada, were to proceed it would be the single largest private investment in Canadian history.”

While in Ottawa, the group of mayors intend to meet with a variety of key representatives from the federal government.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, if an LNG industry comprised of one small and two larger LNG facilities is built in B.C., it will grow Canada’s economy by $7.4 billion a year for the next 30 years. These three projects would also raise national employment by 65,000 jobs a year on average and provide $6 billion in taxes to the federal government.

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