The green light given to the construction of the $40-billion LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat is truly a game changer.
Certainly people in our corner of the province will benefit from a giant boost in the economy from direct investment and from all of the eagerly anticipated economic spin-offs.
It means good paying jobs in construction all the way from the well to the coast for the next five to seven years. Moreover, the province as a whole will benefit from a new stream of public revenue that will flow to the people of British Columbia for the next century.
LNG is also a vital next step toward a low carbon economy. Clearly what’s good for British Columbia is also good for the planet. But last week’s announcement has a much deeper meaning. At a time when our neighbours to the south are squeezing this country for energy resources at below market value, Canada just opened up a new world of opportunity.
We proved that our country is still a big player in the energy sector. Just when critics said it couldn’t be done, all 20 First Nations along the pipeline route signed benefit agreements that will change lives in ways that we never dreamt of 20 years ago.
This is the largest private sector investment in the history of Canada and it’s happening right now in our province. This sends a signal to investors around the globe that British Columbia is still a great place to do business. I am hopeful that Fort Nelson will receive some spins offs from the exploration. I am more excited that this final investment decision will pave the way for other proponents, such as Chevron, which should bring back some economic prosperity for that community.
Finally, we will face heavy competition from countries like Australia and even the United States. Yet with news that Woodfibre LNG in Squamish just signed a 13-year export deal with China, we are now on the cusp of a new economic era for our entire province.
Dan Davies is MLA for Peace River North.