B.C.’s finance minister has introduced legislation to pave the way for a proposed $45-billion liquefied natural gas project in northern B.C.
The bill provides the legal authority for government to enable a project agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong also tabled the agreement Monday (July 13) with the Malaysia-led consortium that was released last week.
“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.
Opposition leader John Horgan has already indicated that the NDP will vote against the bill.
He said the Liberals have failed to secure job guarantees, protect the environment and get a fair return for the people of B.C.
“Consequently, we will be opposing this bill, but we do not, under any circumstances, oppose development of this resource,” he said. “But 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.”
The government has recalled the legislature for a rare summer session to debate the bill. The house is expected to sit for at least two weeks.
Pacific Northwest LNG is comprised of Petronas, Sinopec, JAPEX, Indian Oil Corporation and Petroleum Brunei.
The companies plan to build a facility on Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert, that would liquefy and export natural gas, transported by pipeline from northeastern B.C. The project still has to pass a federal environmental assessment.