LNG approval could change B.C.'s economic, political fortunes
The reported approval of a massive liquefied natural gas project in B.C. could change the province's economic and political fortunes.
Bloomberg is reporting the approval of the $40 billion pipeline and export terminal, a decision expected to be officially announced soon by the group of investors led by Shell.
The decision is eagerly anticipated by some, including those who attended a rally in Terrace, B.C. over the weekend.
Liberal MLA Ellis Ross said the energy project is needed "badly, very badly."
The representative for Skeena said several northern communities need the jobs that would come with the project – enough to replace many of those lost in the port town of Kitimat in recent years.
"There's always been a bad problem with vacancies – families leaving town, kids leaving town, taking their grandkids away to Alberta, Newfoundland – they're all coming back," Ross said.
On Sunday, Kitimat Mayor Philip Germuth said he was pleased by the report that the LNG Canada project had been approved.
"It's the largest investment in Canadian history, so we're really looking forward to everything moving forward," he said.
With thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent ones at stake, politicians were quick to take credit Monday.
"We came in and we saw that we needed a new framework for LNG. We did that framework and we're hopeful like many British Columbians that it will be successful," Energy Minister Michelle Mungall said.
But the opposition Liberals pointed out they've been enthusiastic supporters of the industry long before the NDP got on board, and that former premier Christy Clark led the charge to export liquefied natural gas.
"We think it's kind of sad the NDP would try to score cheap political points in what is the biggest industrial investment in Canadian history," Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said.
Green leader Andrew Weaver has previously threatened to bring down the government over LNG. On Monday, he said: "Will I support, will my caucus support, the development of an LNG, which is basically a sellout because of the tax credits that have been given? No, we won't."
Weaver says emissions from the project could put both climate targets and the NDP-Green alliance at risk.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan