Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Liberals, NDP to Debate Proposed B.C. LNG Deal during Summer Legislative Session

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Liberals, NDP to Debate Proposed B.C. LNG Deal during Summer Legislative Session

Article excerpt

B.C. politicians to debate LNG agreement

--

VICTORIA - British Columbia's politicians are returning to the legislature to debate the details of an agreement that could pave the way for the largest private investment in the province's history -- a proposed $36-billion liquefied natural gas export plant.

The Pacific NorthWest LNG project planned for Lelu Island near Prince Rupert still requires federal environmental approval, and Malaysian energy giant Petronas has yet to make its final investment decision.

But ratifying the project development agreement in the legislature provides investor certainty, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said.

"We think the stakes are big," he said about the deal he will introduce this week though legislative sessions are not typically held in the summer.

"We are anxious to address the remaining issues that would lead to this particular project moving forward," De Jong said.

He said the potential economic returns from B.C.'s first LNG deal would outweigh targeted-tax tradeoffs included in a 25-year deal that is detailed in a legislative document he will table in the legislature.

The project is estimated to create 4,500 construction jobs and could generate $9 billion in government revenues in a decade, de Jong said.

He said B.C.'s entire forest industry brought in between $550 million and $600 million for the province over the past five years.

The agreement includes assurances that Pacific NorthWest LNG will not face significant increases in specific taxes, including the LNG income tax, the carbon tax and the natural-gas tax credit, de Jong said. It does not protect the company from increases in provincial sales and corporate taxes, he added.

Opposition NDP Leader John Horgan said what he's seen of the agreement looks more like a sellout than a payoff for the province.

"I believe the (project development agreement), as it's constituted, is in the interest of Petronas and not in the interest of B. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.