VICTORIA – In the eight months since the B.C. Liberals tabled their position on what would be a fair share of LNG revenue for British Columbia citizens who own the resource, Christy Clark has cut that share by at least half, said Bruce Ralston, New Democrat spokesperson on LNG.
“It’s hard to take Christy Clark at her word when it comes to LNG. She knew what to say when she promised a fair share of LNG revenues to British Columbians, then she turned around and did whatever she wanted,” said Ralston.
“The LNG tax legislation introduced today was written by industry and for industry. It cuts in half the LNG tax the premier said was fair in the February 2014 Budget. Moreover, the new corporate income tax credit and deductions for pre-construction costs will also cut into the public’s share that Christy Clark promised just eight months ago,” said Ralston.
“We warned that Christy Clark’s outlandish political promises to eradicate the provincial debt and the sales tax essentially eliminated her government’s bargaining position with LNG proponents, and we are seeing that in spades in the tax regime the B.C. Liberals introduced,” said Ralston.
The BC Liberal government finally brought forward legislation to define the LNG tax regime on Tuesday, 18 months later than they promised. On Monday the government also introduced environmental legislation covering the industry, but New Democrat environment spokesperson Spencer Chandra Herbert says it doesn’t go far enough.
“An LNG industry in B.C. needs to protect our air, land and water, and that means honouring our climate change commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Chandra Herbert. “The B.C. Liberals’ legislation won’t achieve that. It fails to address upstream emissions from natural gas production, and gives liquefaction facilities enough loopholes to ensure they won’t meet our emissions targets.”
John Horgan and the B.C. New Democrats believe that, in order to move forward, LNG development must include express guarantees of jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians, a fair return for our resources, benefits for First Nations, and protection of our air, land and water, including living up to our climate change commitments.
“The B.C. Liberals are failing on all four conditions. They know what to say, but then they can’t deliver,” said Ralston.