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

Top employers give tips to succeed at Black Press Career Fair in Kelowna

The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair takes place Mar. 12. at the Rutland Soccer Dome

Central Okanagan school board members approve $50,000 loan for KLO modular farm

The garden will grow lettuce, kale and other vegetables once completed

Guilty plea withdrawn in West Kelowna murder trial

Tejwant Danjou’s application to have his impromptu guilty plea removed was accepted by the court

Peachland to host International Women’s Day Celebration

The day will honour Okanagan women’s contributions to the land, water and their communities

Kelowna production takes ‘The Walk’ to explore sex trafficking

The goal is to get people thinking about the situation, according to the playwright

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Vernon dust factor nearly five times that of Kelowna

Road grit a factor in uptick of advisories

Study continues on Summerland’s perpetual slide

Slide in Paradise Flats area has affected Trout Creek for more than 100 years

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Salmon Arm RCMP, new immigrants get acquainted at police station

Tour of detachment provides opportunity to explore differences in judicial systems

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

New York performer can’t wait to bring Chicago to the South Okanagan

The timeless, award-winning musical comes to the South Okanagan Events Centre March 28.

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Most Read