Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain speaks at B.C. legislature Tuesday.

B.C. gives green light to Petronas LNG

Northwest mayors hopeful 25-year project agreement means long-term recovery for struggling communities

VICTORIA – The B.C. government has passed legislation setting tax rates in a 25-year project development deal for what the government hopes is the first of a series of liquefied natural gas export facilities.

Premier Christy Clark invited Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain and Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald to the legislature for a brief celebration Tuesday, as debate wound down on a rare summer session of the B.C. legislature.

Brain, a rookie mayor at age 29 and fourth generation Prince Rupert resident, said the prospect of economic recovery is welcome for the struggling community of 14,500 people.

“When I was in high school we lost three major industries all at the same time in our town,” Brain said. “We lost our forest industry, our fishing industry and our mill. I lost a lot of friends, we lost half our population and ever since it’s been a struggle for our community to get back on track.”

Clark said the project development agreement with Petronas-led Pacific Northwest LNG for the Port of Prince Rupert is complete from the government’s standpoint. She ruled out any further exemptions to the provincial sales tax that applies to investments in plant and pipelines that could reach $36 billion.

“We aren’t considering changing the way the PST is treated for this or any other projects,” Clark said, responding to comments by David Keane, president of the B.C. LNG Alliance.

Keane questioned the suggestion that LNG investors are getting a discount for investing in B.C.

“This is the only regime where we have to pay a special LNG tax,” Keane told reporters in Victoria last week. “It’s the only jurisdiction where we have to pay a carbon tax, and we also have to buy carbon offsets to get down to our greenhouse gas target that was legislated last year.

“And in addition to that, we’re also going to be paying PST, GST, payroll taxes, municipal taxes, and corporate income taxes at both the federal and provincial levels.”

Pacific Northwest still needs an environmental permit from the federal government, and approval from the Lax Kw’alaams Band, whose territory includes the Lelu Island site chosen for the LNG shipping terminal.

Opposition MLAs opposed the agreement, citing a lack of job guarantees and protection for the investors from discriminatory tax and regulation changes for 25 years.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Mystery solved on who put up Mount Kobau blockade

Land owner says trespassing with quads and motorcycles threatens wildlife and old growth trees

Okanagan woman shocked by return of letter in a bottle, after 31 years

‘I honestly didn’t think it would get past the beaver pond.’

COLUMN: Examining the federal speech from the throne

MP Dan Albas raises concerns about the latest throne speech from the House of Commons

Morning Start: Hawaiian Pizza is Canadian

Your morning start for Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Motorcycle rider identified following fatal crash in Peachland

Michael Odenbach died in a motorcycle collision on Sept. 27

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Shuswap BC SPCA launches spay/neuter program for low-income residents

Program available to low-income residents in the region

More victims possible in Okanagan assault case

Vernon police have a man in custody but feel there could be more victims in the case

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Most Read