Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MLA seeks more than promises on theme of LNG in Legislature

As part of last weeks response to the Speech from the Throne, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice challenged a few of the Provincial Liberal's themes on LNG, in particular when it comes to the recently announced Tax Regime.

On that topic Ms. Rice offered up that the government announcement provide for a failure for the government's bargaining position. With the windfall that was promised now a thing of the past. Suggesting that the Tax Regime was written by industry for industry.

Today we find out that British Columbians are getting half of what she promised. I find it hard to take the Premier at her word when it comes to LNG. She knew what to say when she promised a fair share from LNG, then turned around and did the opposite. Shamefully, the LNG tax regime was written by industry for industry.

The Premier eliminated B.C.'s bargaining position with her outlandish promises. Now we see the result of that failure. The Premier and the B.C. Liberals are selling out B.C. They knew what to say at election time, but their grand promises of a "Debt-free B.C.," eliminating the PST and creating those thousands of jobs have fallen away. Now they're talking about LNG to just pay for the basics, like health care. What happened to the windfall we were promised? The throne speech is now switching gears.

An LNG industry in B.C. needs to protect our land, our air and our water. That means honouring our climate change commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation covering environmental regulations won't achieve that. It fails to address upstream emissions from natural gas production and gives liquefication facilities enough loopholes to ensure they won't meet our emission targets.

Ms. Rice also stressed the desire of the NDP to seek guarantees of jobs, and training opportunities for British Columbians, as well as a fair return for the provinces resources.  She also called on the province to make sure that LNG explicitly benefits First Nations and protects air, land, water and climate change commitments.

She also reviewed for the Legislature of the concerns for some residents of the North Coast when it comes to development of LNG terminal options near the Flora Bank

I'd also like to mention that the First Nations in my community around Prince Rupert are really concerned about LNG and the Skeena River, and they're concerned about the estuary. They're not necessarily concerned about the gas evaporating. 

They're concerned about the industrialization of the Skeena estuary, and they're concerned particularly about Flora Bank, which is the largest remaining intact eelgrass bed in British Columbia. Now, eelgrass is not something you smoke. It's actually very important fish habitat. It's important fish habitat for British Columbia's second-largest salmon run. 

We support the development of LNG if it comes with express commitments for the well-paying jobs and skill development opportunities British Columbians need. The government is trying to meet this standard as they continue to fail on skills training and rely on temporary foreign workers and ignore other sectors of the economy.

As she closed her ten minute review, which wrapped up the Tuesday afternoon session of the Legislature, Ms. Rice read a from the Victoria Times Colonist article of October 18th which highlighted some of the issues and concerns that Prince Rupert is facing as the LNG prospects continue to form up.

You can review the full transcript of her comments to the Legislature here, her presentation starts at the  1815 mark.  You can view it from the Legislature Video files by clicking on House Video for Tuesday Afternoon, Ms. Rice speaks at the

For more items of note regarding the work of MLA Rice at the Legislature see our archive pages, the Archive for the week of October 20-13 can be found here.

While the larger overview of events at the Legislature related to the North Coast and Haida Gwaii can be found here.

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