VANCOUVER, Nov. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today concluded a visit to British Columbia where he met with leaders of First Nations communities to discuss progress on the Government of Canada's response to the recommendations of the Eyford Report and our latest enhancements to Canada's world-class tanker and pipeline safety systems. Minister Rickford also met with the Honourable Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier of British Columbia and Minister of Natural Gas Development.
While visiting with the Musqueam First Nation, Minister Rickford and Chief Wayne Sparrow agreed that the Government of Canada and the Musqueam First Nation would work together on fisheries habitat restoration in the Lower Fraser River Estuary and Musqueam Creek. The project, which will include restoring habitat, would be managed by the Major Projects Management Office – West and the Musqueam First Nation. Similar agreements are being developed across British Columbia to support projects that enhance environmental protection and participation of First Nations in responsible resource development.
Minister Rickford also participated in a boat tour of the Vancouver Harbour, including the Kinder Morgan terminal, with members of First Nations living in Burrard Inlet. Members of the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations shared issues important to their communities related to proposals from the private sector for energy development. The Minister met with the Senior Executive Director of the new Major Projects Management Office – West to discuss the purposeful role the Office is fulfilling to build partnerships between First Nations, governments and industry to support responsible resource development and enhanced First Nations participation in energy projects.
The Minister also met with Deputy Premier Coleman, and they updated each other on their government's ongoing efforts to enhance responsible development and supply Asian markets' demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG). Minister Rickford shared the outcomes of his participation in meetings of APEC Energy Ministers and his recent visit to Japan to promote the advantages of Canada as a secure, reliable and responsible energy partner. The Minister emphasized British Columbia's LNG export potential to governments, private companies, chambers of commerce and other influencers. In particular, the Minister emphasized:
- Canada's work to enhance the regulatory review of major energy projects, eliminating duplication and providing investors with predictable, beginning-to-end timelines.
- Our country's ranking by Forbes and Bloomberg as the best place in the G20 to do business.
- Canada has reduced the overall tax rate on new business investment since 2006 by almost half, from 33 to 17.5 percent.
- According to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are the lowest in the G7 and 46 percent lower than the United States.
- Canada's shipping time to Asia is significantly shorter than those of many traditional LNG producers, including proposed projects in the U.S. that would ship from the Gulf of Mexico.
- Over the next 25 years, the responsible development of Canada's energy resources will generate billions of dollars in economic activity, hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenues to fund critical social programs like health care, education and old age pensions.
- The Government of Canada opened the Major Projects Management Office – West in Vancouver to strengthen engagement with First Nations communities on issues related to proposed energy infrastructure.
- The Conference Board of Canada estimates that B.C.'s natural gas sector could attract more than $180 billion of investment between now and 2035; Aboriginal Peoples have a major role to play in this growth.
- Enhancements to Canada's world-class pipeline and tanker safety systems include First Nations engagement and participation as a key component to achieving effective implementation.
"The Harper Government is working with governments, industry and First Nations communities to develop our resources responsibly and to enhance Canada's position as a stable, secure and reliable supplier of energy to the world."
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
Responsible Resource Development http://eap.gc.ca/en/content/r2d-dr2
Final Report of the Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/home/87
Major Projects Management Office - West http://mpmo.gc.ca/west/projects/216
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SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada
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