B.C. politicians battle over LNG jobs

NDP's John Horgan says there should be employment guarantees; Premier Christy Clark says trades training is the key

NDP leader John Horgan says his party will vote against the LNG development deal proposed by Premier Christy Clark.

The B.C. legislature has convened with the opposition focus on a lack of guarantees for B.C. jobs in the government’s project agreement for a major liquefied natural gas project at Prince Rupert.

NDP leader John Horgan confirmed Monday his party will vote against legislation setting terms for the Petronas-led Pacific Northwest LNG project, mainly due to a lack of assurances for local employment and purchasing. He also cited opposition from some First Nations communities and 25-year protection for the project from LNG-specific tax increases.

“This government has constrained the ability of the next government to look at this deal to increase royalties back the Crown, to increase greenhouse gas emission laws to protect the public,” Horgan said. “That’s just unconscionable and we won’t support it.”

Premier Christy Clark staged an announcement of new funding for apprenticeship training Monday, arguing that her government’s retooling of post-secondary education is a response to investors who want to hire B.C. and Canadian workers wherever they can.

“There’s a reason the unions support what we’re doing, and there’s a reason that the unions disagree with what Mr. Horgan has said,” Clark said. “It’s because they know that if we work together and we’re making sure British Columbians are first in line for those jobs, British Columbians will get those jobs first.”

Clark scoffed at Horgan’s claim that up to 70 per cent of construction jobs on the Prince Rupert project could go to foreign workers.

The figure comes from Pacific Northwest’s filing to the federal environmental review, describing the potential impact of a large out-of-town workforce on northwestern B.C. communities.

A February 2014 consulting engineers’ report says “Canadian workers will account for 70 per cent of the onsite workforce for the first three years of construction. Due to competition from labour from other projects, Canadian workers may account for 30 per cent of the onsite workforce for the remaining two years of construction.”

In the final stages, B.C. LNG projects would assemble compression and refrigeration components manufactured offshore, with specialty skills such as welding metal alloys designed for low-temperature operation.

Clark said the Australian government did not develop a local workforce for LNG projects, and some of their projects were cancelled in the face of high labour costs and skilled trades shortages.

 

Just Posted

Youth athletes get $22k from Kelowna builder

Mission Group supports a group of ten elite cyclists and triathletes from around Kelowna

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Coordinated search finds missing Kelowna boy

All available police resources were called in to help find a missing boy Monday afternoon

Kelowna students leave for downhill challenge

A group of students from UBCO is ready for annual concrete toboggan race

Kelowna’s Serwa named to Olympic team

Kelsey Serwa is one of eight Canadian ski cross athletes headed to PyeongChang

Your Jan. 23 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

Taylor: Humans the theory makers

Lake Country columnist Jim Taylor writes weekly in the Calendar

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Slayer adds Penticton to North American tour

Slayer adds the South Okanagan Events Centre as a stop on their last tour

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Vancouver Canucks confirm participation in NHL Young Stars

Canucks confirmed participation, at least for this year, in the NHL Young Stars event in Penticton

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Most Read