Re: Norm Macdonald’s MLA Report in the July 22nd Invermere Valley Echo.
The potential to Canada and British Columbia of LNG development is far too great to be a politically partisan issue. Let’s go through five significant factors.
First off, the Petronas project, with tens of billions of dollars of investment, is not asking for minimal or no taxes. It is requiring only that the specified tax rate be stable and allow for return of this massive long-term capital investment. This is not unreasonable, but a win-win situation for both parties.
Secondly when considering socio-economic benefit, one has to bear in mind that the majority of this gas is British Columbia’s and its production and development is already paying multi-millions of dollars in royalties to the B.C. taxpayer. With the fading U.S. market, overseas marketing off this valuable commodity for both existing and large, future potential is essential.
Thirdly with regards to jobs, one of the reasons developers like Canada is for its large supply of highly skilled trained and potentially trainable tradesmen. These employment opportunities will go first to British Columbians and Canadians. This does not have to be rigidly stated in the contractual agreement.
Fourthly, the government has announced 28 First Nations along the pipeline route are onside. Unlike Northern Gateway, there is no oil spill risk. These isolated northern communities need economic development to replace government handouts.
The fifth and final point is the global environment. Much of this natural gas product will go to Asia and replace the burning of coal, which has far higher GHG emissions.
Those are my thoughts. Come on British Columbia, let’s get onside with this amazing opportunity.