Bob Zimmer: Celebrating the long road to launch LNG

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After months of uncertainty and disappointment thanks to the Liberal government’s continued failure to champion Canada’s energy industry, we finally — FINALLY — have some good news.

LNG Canada has announced that investors have given the $40-billion project the green light. This includes the construction of a $6.2 billion, 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline project.

This is great news for Northeast B.C. The project will create as many as 10,000 jobs during construction and up to 950 direct full time jobs after the project is completed.

In addition, the province estimates that it will generate $23 billion in direct government revenue over 40 years. The project will also help to reduce global emissions.

This announcement comes after years of heavy lifting by our previous Conservative government when we championed LNG Canada through the approval process and provided regulatory certainty for major resource projects.

A personal highlight for me was when I was with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Surrey in 2015 for the announcement that our government intended to establish an accelerated capital cost allowance to support the creation of new and well-paying jobs in the LNG industry.

Our Conservative government followed through on this commitment in Budget 2015 when we established a capital cost allowance rate of 30 per cent for equipment used in natural gas liquefaction and 10 per cent for buildings at a facility that liquefies natural gas. This was something that I had worked hard on and to see it come to fruition was deeply rewarding.

According to a 2016 report by the Conference Board of Canada, the development of the LNG industry could result in $808 million and $577 million annually in tax revenues for the provincial and federal governments respectively. Not only that, but the added employment could increase our province’s disposable income by an average of $4.8 billion per year, or $860 per person.

Despite the Liberal government continuing to implement anti-energy policies, I remain hopeful that this LNG Canada announcement is just the beginning.

I want to congratulate all of the local representatives, aboriginal leaders, and residents who worked so hard to ensure the voices of “Yes” were heard throughout this process.

Your resilience and determination has paid off. Go LNG Go!

Bob Zimmer is Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies 

© Copyright 2018 Alaska Highway News

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