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.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Snowboarders rescued after going missing overnight

Two snowboarders went out of bounds and were missing overnight.

First responders attend rollover near China Creek

Six firefighters from Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue attended the scene

Castlegar weekend forecast calls for wet snow, mild temperatures

Wet snow and unseasonably mild temperatures are in the forecast for Castlegar this weekend.

UPDATE: Body found in burnt-out car near Genelle

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff looking forward to progress in 2018

Columbia Avenue Redevelopment, community complex and progress on airport reliability top his list.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Honouring our best during Minor Hockey Week

Team photos from our minor hockey association teams in Castlegar.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Most Read