VICTORIA (July 25, 2017) – Today’s decision by Petronas to cancel the Pacific Northwest LNG project sends a clear signal about the impact of the Closed for Business agenda put forward by the NDP government, the BC Liberal Caucus said today.
Pacific Northwest LNG near Prince Rupert would have been Canada’s largest ever private sector investment, creating thousands of jobs, supporting families, and ensuring generations of economic revenue for communities across BC.
According to Petronas, the decision came amid changes in market conditions. John Horgan and his NDP have campaigned vigorously against PNW, calling it “unacceptable” and working tirelessly to stop it. This attitude, as well as additional costs the NDP plan to impose on job creators with measures such as a higher, non-revenue neutral carbon tax, send a clear signal that under the NDP, British Columbia is not a friendly market to invest in.
The decision by Petronas to cancel the LNG project means the loss of up to $36 billion in new capital spending, an estimated 5000 direct jobs as well as thousands of indirect positions in the Northwest and across BC.
“Today’s decision represents a generational opportunity that’s been lost, especially for northern British Columbians” said Ellis Ross, BC Liberal MLA for Skeena. “The First Nations who were looking to LNG to support economic growth and a sustainable future in their communities are facing some tough decisions now that resource benefits are being pulled off the table.”
This past February, the BC Liberal government and Petronas signed a $200 million benefit agreement with the Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla First Nations, which ensured the nations receive direct benefits from the Pacific Northwest project.
“It’s time for John Horgan and the NDP to start paying attention to the rest of the province” said MLA Ross. “Responsible resource development is essential to maintaining BC’s thriving economy and supporting families.”
“John Horgan’s NDP simply does not believe that there can be a balance between job creation and environmental protection,” said Jas Johal, BC Liberal MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “The BC Liberals know that growing the economy, ensuring environmental sustainability and effective consultation with First Nations are key to our future.”
John Horgan’s activist NDP agenda is making it harder to do business in British Columbia. Massive carbon tax hikes will not be revenue-neutral and higher costs on flaring in the gas sector will make it more expensive to create jobs and do business in British Columbia.
Is it really any wonder that the Pacific Northwest LNG project came to a halt with an NDP government at the helm?
John Horgan’s NDP have called to hike the carbon tax by 67% (moving from $30 to $50), ending revenue neutrality, and making it more expensive to do business in British Columbia.
John Horgan’s hand-picked Environment and Climate Change Minister George Heyman is the former head of the Sierra Club BC, which claims that the Government of British Columbia needs to “take a huge step back from their aggressive pursuit of unconventional gas and fracking” (Vancouver Sun – October 22, 2012).
John Horgan and George Heyman tried to appeal to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency last year, urging them to stop this project, saying “we urge you to withhold final recommendation for approval” (Letter to CEAA – March 10, 2016).
John Horgan’s hand-picked Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Michelle Mungall claimed that pursuing LNG in British Columbia “ain’t good for anybody in this province” (Hansard – July 14, 2015).
John Horgan’s NDP MLAs Jennifer Rice, Doug Donaldson, and Robin Austin campaigned against the Pacific Northwest project, calling it an “unacceptable risk” (Letter to Lax Kw’alaams First Nation – January 23, 2016).
The NDP have been warned in no uncertain about the effects of their policies on LNG in BC:
“The LNG question is moot since the NDP also promises a 40% GHG reduction target by 2030… In other words, the carbon tax will have to rise by $10 each year starting in 2018 until it hits $160 in 2030. LNG is basically dead under that scenario.” – Stewart Muir, Executive Director Resource Works (Business In Vancouver – April 25, 2017)
“Low natural gas prices mean the industry is struggling to survive and by signalling that it intends to add more to costs, the NDP is adding a burden the industry can’t afford” – Peter Tertzakian, Chief Energy Economist at ARC Financial Corp. (Vancouver Sun – April 12, 2013)
“You’ve got an industry that’s crippled and you are throwing darts at them. You are putting pins in their back. They will start moving capital elsewhere.” – Bill Gwozd, Senior Vice-President of Gas Services at Ziff Energy (Vancouver Sun – April 12, 2013)