VANCOUVER, B.C. – Tuesday’s announcement by LNG Canada that its joint venture participants, Shell, Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and Korea Gas Corp., had made a positive Final Investment Decision to build a liquified natural gas export facility on B.C.’s North Coast is being met with both praise and criticism.
Alan Yu, the founder of local grassroots organization Fort St. John for LNG, greeted today’s announcement with immense enthusiasm.
“We have one more to give thanks to this Thanksgiving Day. The LNG Canada Final Investment Decision marks the start of a new chapter in the economic history of Fort St. John and North East BC. LNG Canada will create a new export market for BC Natural Gas and give better employment opportunities for our generation and the next. FSJ for LNG would like to thank John Horgan and the NDP for creating an environment favourable to an LNG Industry in BC. We also do not forget Christy Clark and the BC Liberals for all the years spent laying the foundation that led to this day.”
Yu said that in the wake of this morning’s announcement, FSJ for LNG will be hosting a celebration at Beard’s Brewing in Fort St. John beginning at 5:00 p.m., with another family-friendly planned for the near future.
Other organizations also responded to today’s announcement:
“This is huge news,” said Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance and former chief of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. “It means jobs and training and education and it means opportunities for First Nations businesses and procurement and partnerships. Imagine what these can do for First Nations communities where unemployment now can be running at 50 and 60 and 70 percent. And in the longer term, it means lifetime careers and steady, reliable, sources of revenue for First Nations and communities. It will also generate billions in taxes for all levels of government, and that means support for education and healthcare and social programs.”
“What we have just seen may go down as one of the best weekends in B.C.’s economic history,” said Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association. “We’re relieved the Canadian government was able to hammer out this trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico, and ecstatic that LNG Canada’s partners are poised to proceed with construction of their $40-billion project. Missing out on either the trade deal or LNG would have hurt our economy. The goal now is to ensure that LNG Canada is not an outlier – we need more major projects to attract the capital and develop the talent we need to support our long-term prosperity.”
“Today’s announcement brings with it a defining challenge for B.C.: squaring the imperative to cut carbon pollution while accepting a huge new source of it,” said Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada. “The math is simple: adding a massive new source of pollution means we need to do far more to cut carbon pollution from our homes, from buildings, from our cars and trucks, and from other industries as well. It means we will need to be bolder, more ambitious and more innovative. Because the fact is the only pollution we can reliably cut—and be held accountable for—is the pollution created in our own backyard. The government must hold LNG Canada to account and ensure it delivers the world’s cleanest LNG project, as they have promised. And British Columbians must hold their government to account for delivering a climate solutions plan that starts immediately with policies and incentives that put us on track to cut carbon pollution and build a clean economy.”
“We are very disappointed in the lack of foresight from the B.C. NDP Government, John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,” said Ian McAllister, executive director of Pacific Wild, an organization that erroneously stated that Coastal Gaslink pipeline operator TransCanada was also the company behind the recently-defeated Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. “This proposal brings many of the exact same environmental threats that the controversial Northern Gateway proposal brought to the BC north coast. Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau have pulled a bait-and-switch on the Canadian people, proving once again that our climate and environment will be sacrificed for short-term jobs and environmentally destructive projects. It appears Prime Minister Trudeau is intent on pushing through oil and gas at any cost possible. He will ignore climate concerns. He has done a full 180-degree turn on a critical platform he was voted in on: positioning Canada as a climate leader.”