MLA Report: LNG deal is a bad agreement

The British Columbia Legislature has been recalled this summer to pass legislation related to Liquefied Natural Gas.

The British Columbia Legislature has been recalled this summer to pass legislation related to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). If one chooses to take the time to do a bit of investigation into the promises made by the BC Liberals in the 2013 election about the development of a B.C. LNG industry, you soon discover that these declarations were both irresponsible and untrue.

The BC Liberals have, in fact, signed a 25-year sellout of British Columbia’s resources.

This is a sellout of our finite natural resources for the next generation with practically no benefit to British Columbians. The only benefit to this bill is that it helps Christy Clark politically, assuming one does not look too carefully at the deal.

You may not believe me, but you must consider a quote from Martyn Brown, a prominent BC Liberal who served as Gordon Campbell’s Chief of Staff for almost a decade.

Martyn Brown said: “The fine print of that deal will commit our province to a course that is environmentally reckless, fiscally foolhardy, and socially irresponsible. I say that as someone generally supportive of the merits of LNG development, to the extent that it is invited without giving up more than we collectively stand to gain.”

The BC Liberals promised 100,000 jobs, one LNG plant by 2015 with a dozen to follow, a $1 billion prosperity fund, an end to the provincial sales tax, the cleanest LNG in the world, and the elimination of the provincial debt.

None of those promises were honestly made and the BC Liberals have put themselves in a corner where they are desperate to get anything that they can spin as a deal. And that desperation has led to a massive sellout to foreign state-owned Petronas.

This is the deal that I am debating this summer in an emergency piece of legislation put forward by the BC Liberals.

The legislation is a deal that locks in extremely low tax rates for over 25 years, has no job guarantees for B.C. or Canadian workers, and allows up to 70 per cent of the work to be done by foreign workers. There are no apprenticeship requirements and it offers no role for First Nations.

The BC Liberals say it is a $38 billion investment with $9 billion coming in government revenue. But again, this is not anything approaching the truth.

Martyn Brown doesn’t mince words when talking about this deal, and neither will I.

There is no question. This deal is a bad agreement for British Columbia and British Columbians, signed entirely for political purposes with no care for the consequences for citizens today or into the future. These are the facts.

Norm Macdonald is the NDP MLA for Columbia River Revelstoke. He can be reached by phone at 1-866-870-4188 and by email at norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca.

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