LNG Canada Applauds BC Tax Changes

John Crawford

LNG Canada says proposed changes to the province's tax structure for liquefied natural gas, announced this week by the BC Government, are a very important step forward in the development of the industry in this province.

Although the company's investors had already given the project final approval, an LNG Canada spokesperson says the announcement shows the NDP is prepared to deliver on its commitments.
Finance Minister Carole James announced on Monday the government's new Income Tax Amendment Act, which she said will ensure the LNG export industry has an even playing field with other resource sectors in the province, and can be globally competitive. 

"We're creating jobs, we're creating environmental protection and we're bringing in a fair share of resources to British Columbia," she said.

LNG Canada External Affairs Director Susannah Pierce agreed, saying the changes help ensure BC can find a new market for its natural gas resources, and realize the opportunities the LNG sector creates for the province's workers, communities and First Nations.  

"It is removing the LNG Income Tax Act, which is something that was unique only to the LNG industry in the province, and so really it's the final chapter of the BC Government's commitment to ensure that there is a sustainable and competitive industry in the province," she said.

[PHOTO:  Susannah Pierce, LNG Canada -- at October 2018 FID announcement]

Environmental groups aren't happy with the new bill -- nor is the BC Green Party, with leader Andrew Weaver complaining that the NDP basically sold out to the industry.

"They've basically given LNG Canada whatever they want, frankly I'm surprised they haven't given them promises of their second and third children as well!" he said.

But while the Green Party will vote against the bill, it's likely to pass with the backing of the BC Liberals.  

"Our desire is to be supportive, but we still have a job to do, in terms of ensuring that the government fully discloses the benefits and the costs associated with the agreement," said Liberal MLA Mike De Jong.

In the meantime, work is proceeding on the project at Kitimat -- and Pierce says local businesses are already seeing the benefits.

"We've begun additional site-clearing and that's to make sure the site is ready for materials when they come on-site to start more of the construction element of this; we've done preliminary dredging, to enable some of the ships to safely enter the area, and also to ensure Rio Tinto has an extension to its wharf, so that when they go off of the former Eurocan wharf, they can go onto a new extension of their wharf closer to shore," she explained.

More than 600 workers have already been busy on site, and Pierce says that number is steadily increasing, with a focus on hiring local as much as possible.


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