Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain speaks at B.C. legislature Tuesday.

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain speaks at B.C. legislature Tuesday.

B.C. gives green light to Petronas LNG

Northwest mayors hopeful 25-year project agreement means long-term recovery for struggling communities

VICTORIA – The B.C. government has passed legislation setting tax rates in a 25-year project development deal for what the government hopes is the first of a series of liquefied natural gas export facilities.

Premier Christy Clark invited Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain and Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald to the legislature for a brief celebration Tuesday, as debate wound down on a rare summer session of the B.C. legislature.

Brain, a rookie mayor at age 29 and fourth generation Prince Rupert resident, said the prospect of economic recovery is welcome for the struggling community of 14,500 people.

“When I was in high school we lost three major industries all at the same time in our town,” Brain said. “We lost our forest industry, our fishing industry and our mill. I lost a lot of friends, we lost half our population and ever since it’s been a struggle for our community to get back on track.”

Clark said the project development agreement with Petronas-led Pacific Northwest LNG for the Port of Prince Rupert is complete from the government’s standpoint. She ruled out any further exemptions to the provincial sales tax that applies to investments in plant and pipelines that could reach $36 billion.

“We aren’t considering changing the way the PST is treated for this or any other projects,” Clark said, responding to comments by David Keane, president of the B.C. LNG Alliance.

Keane questioned the suggestion that LNG investors are getting a discount for investing in B.C.

“This is the only regime where we have to pay a special LNG tax,” Keane told reporters in Victoria last week. “It’s the only jurisdiction where we have to pay a carbon tax, and we also have to buy carbon offsets to get down to our greenhouse gas target that was legislated last year.

“And in addition to that, we’re also going to be paying PST, GST, payroll taxes, municipal taxes, and corporate income taxes at both the federal and provincial levels.”

Pacific Northwest still needs an environmental permit from the federal government, and approval from the Lax Kw’alaams Band, whose territory includes the Lelu Island site chosen for the LNG shipping terminal.

Opposition MLAs opposed the agreement, citing a lack of job guarantees and protection for the investors from discriminatory tax and regulation changes for 25 years.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

A resurfacing of the tennis court in Metchosin is being eyed for the community. However, funding opportunities still need to be solidified for the project. (Michelle Cabana/Black Press Media)
Renewed surface eyed for Metchosin tennis court

Funding source must first be solidified in order for project to happen

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels after found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired B.C. teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

Most Read