British Columbia Finance Minister Mike de Jong has tabled a bill designed to spell out the rules for a proposed $45-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, placing the Liberal government’s pro-LNG agenda on a collision course with the NDP.
The bill provides the legal authority for government to enable a project agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG.
“This is an opportunity for the public, for legislators to analyze and discuss the documents and the legislation that will breathe life into a whole new industry and whole era of opportunity in B.C.,” he said.
B.C. Opposition NDP Leader John Horgan, however, said his party will be opposing the bill because it has flaws, stressing that the NDP is not against resource development.
“We want to make sure we do it in a way that benefits all British Columbians, not just meeting a political promise that was made during an election campaign,” Horgan said.
The Liquefied Natural Gas Project Agreements Act, as tabled by Jong outlines four key areas including the new LNG income tax, Natural Gas Tax Credit, the Carbon Tax, and greenhouse gas emissions regulatory scheme at an LNG facility, for the next 25 years.
The agreement with the Malaysia-led consortium, which was released last week, includes provisions to hold the line on industry-related taxes over the next 25 years.
Future governments would have to compensate the consortium for increases in the LNG income tax or carbon tax, and changes to the natural-gas tax credit or greenhouse-gas-emissions regulations.