VANCOUVER, March 25, 2019 /CNW/ - Local mayors, First Nations, trades and business are applauding measures by the provincial government today that will officially remove barriers and create a level playing field for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry and realize the opportunity for British Columbians to add value to our natural gas. This new industry will create thousands of new jobs, trades apprentices, contractor opportunities across B.C. and new revenue for local, provincial and federal governments.
The BC LNG Alliance, First Nations LNG Alliance, mayors across northern B.C., including in the towns of Kitimat, Terrace, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, along with the BC Chamber of Commerce, BC Business Council, BC Building Trades, Build TogetHER and BC Centre for Women in Trades said the measures provide confidence that an LNG industry in B.C. will provide much-needed benefits for our province and Canada.
The LNG Canada project announced last October represents the largest private investment in Canadian history. Nearly $1 billion in contracts have been awarded or approved to regional, First Nations, British Columbian and Canadian businesses.
When first announced in March 2018, the Province's fiscal measures for the LNG industry provided LNG Canada's joint venture participants with confidence that the Province of British Columbia supported the project. Ensuring we have a framework for a competitive LNG industry must continue to be a focus for the provincial and federal governments.
The measures tabled today provide the LNG industry with a level playing field with other established industries in B.C. These include no industry-specific tax and a hydro rate that is the same industrial rate other industries pay. It is important for B.C.'s LNG projects to not face additional costs other LNG projects in development around the world do not pay. or B.C. risks losing new jobs and benefits, and the opportunity to add value to our natural gas.
LNG from B.C. will set a global example by producing LNG with the lowest CO2 emissions per tonne of LNG compared to LNG export facilities anywhere in the world. B.C.'s responsibly- produced LNG has a critical role to play to help provide millions of people with less-polluted air and provide countries moving away from more carbon intensive forms of electricity generation with the lowest-emissions intensity LNG in the world, supplied by British Columbia.
For example, LNG from LNG Canada's export facility, when used to displace coal for electricity generation, will reduce global emissions by 60 to 90 million tonnes each year. This is equivalent to all of the CO2 B.C. produces annually, and 10 per cent of Canada's emissions.
"We are facing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Coastal GasLink and LNG Canada are unprecedented in what they can offer First Nations people in the north. I'm tired of managing poverty. I'm tired of First Nations communities dealing with issues such as suicide, low employment or educational opportunities. LNG matters for us, and that is why we stand up for it."
-Crystal Smith, chief councillor, Haisla Nation
"The First Nations LNG Alliance is committed to responsible resource development, and we support the highest environmental standards. LNG from BC will lower global greenhouse gas emissions, primarily in China. That benefits B.C. as well as the world, because greenhouse gases do not respect borders. The BC industry is doing its due diligence regarding the environment, and this aligns with our values and beliefs as Indigenous peoples of Canada.
-Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO, First Nations LNG Alliance (Board members include: Haisla Nation, Ts'il Kaz Koh First Nation (Burns Lake Band), Wet'sewet'en Nation, Skin Tyee Nation, Gitxaala Nation, Huu-ay-aht First Nation)
"Support for LNG has bonded our community and strengthened our relationships with neighbouring communities, First Nations, and the Provincial Government. We all recognize the mutual benefits that can be gained through working cooperatively towards common goals. It is with these sentiments that I commend and thank the Provincial Government for their efforts to level the playing field for LNG investment and secure shared prosperity for all British Columbians."
-Phil Germuth, Mayor of Kitimat
"The City of Terrace was thrilled to see LNG Canada take a positive FID in fall 2018 and since then, we have already begun to see a rise in development proposals and economic activity in our community. The LNG industry is incredibly important to Terrace as the service center for Northwest BC. We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us with the LNG industry to attract new investment , support expansion of existing businesses and continue the build out of our 2400 acre Skeena Industrial Development Park."
-Carol LeClerc, Mayor of Terrace
"Every community in Canada relies on natural resources to function from asphalt roads to energy for their recreation facilities and so we all understand the value of clean energy opportunities. We are leaders in the world for extraction of reliable energy development and resource industry innovation, so meeting our domestic needs and exporting our abundant resources will allow us to live well now and in the future."
-Lori Ackerman, Mayor of Fort St John
"The world class natural gas resources that exist in North Eastern BC provide unparalleled economic opportunities for decades into the future. The potential to provide these world class resources to the international markets provide enormous economic benefits to our region, British Columbia and Canada. We are excited for the potential to continue to broaden and diversify the economy for our residents and business community."
-Dale Bumstead, Mayor of Dawson Creek
"We hear from women every single day who have trouble finding employment simply because they are women. Through our partnership with the BC LNG Alliance and the growth of LNG in B.C., we are confident we'll see increased opportunities for tradeswomen to enter, excel and advance in this sector. Women are ready to do these jobs."
-Emelia Colman-Shepherd, Coordinator, BC Centre for Women in Trades
"Women represent less than five per cent of the skilled construction trades, and it's been that way for decades. With the LNG industry and recent commitments from government and industry to women in trades, we are excited about the prospect of increased opportunities for women in this sector."
-Chelsea French, Co-chair, Build TogetHER BC
"The BC Building Trades has been working with the LNG industry for years to ensure our province has the skilled workers the industry requires. We've doubled down on our apprenticeship training programs across the province so that B.C. workers – including underrepresented groups like Indigenous workers and women in trades – have access to jobs, the industry flourishes, and B.C. prospers."
-Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director, BC Building Trades
"Climate change does not respect borders. When B.C.'s natural resource industries, including our LNG industry, are competitive in global markets, we can provide our lower-carbon intensive goods, services and solutions to a world looking to reduce emissions and the resulting impacts of climate change.
B.C. and the world's climate are worse off if we don't leverage our abundance of low carbon natural resources, energy and clean hydroelectricity, all supported by our high environmental standards, technologies and proximity to emerging markets. When we share these low-carbon B.C. products with export markets, we have the opportunity to attract investment and make an outsized reduction in global emissions while displacing similar products supplied by higher carbon intensive competing jurisdictions."
-Greg D'Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia
"Thanks to the enduring work of local communities, governments at all levels and industry, businesses and workers from across BC will enjoy tremendous economic opportunity due to LNG," says Val Litwin, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. "While at the same time our province can be global leaders in countering climate change by sending our cleaner LNG to markets - like China - who are looking to wean itself of coal-fired electricity. This is a true win-win for all."
-Val Litwin, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce
"The BC Government worked to create an environment for developing an LNG industry in a way that enhances the benefits to both industry and the province. This new industry for B.C. is truly an example of building prosperity together -- communities, First Nations, business, trades, as well as benefiting all British Columbians by helping governments pay for services we all value."
-Bryan Cox, President and CEO, BC LNG Alliance
SOURCE BC LNG Alliance
For further information: Gillian Robinson, [email protected]