July 29, 2015 | Jennifer Rice | The Northern View
Contrary to what the [Northern View] says is our position, New Democrats have made it clear that we support an LNG industry for British Columbia as long as there are jobs for British Columbians (especially for Northern Communities), a fair return on the resource to B.C., full partnership with First Nations, and that all projects meet the highest environmental standards.
This agreement that the B.C. Liberals have signed with Petronas meets none of these conditions, and that’s why New Democrats opposed the bad deal.
The Premier did a good job getting a good deal for Petronas, but she failed to negotiate effectively on British Columbia’s behalf.
The Premier put herself in a terrible negotiating position when she made outlandish promises ahead of the last election. Petronas knew before they sat at the table that the premier was desperate.
As a result, they get a tax holiday locked in for 25 years at the expense of a fair return for B.C.
In return, all the Premier asked Petronas for in the deal was an indication within the next two years, or by the next election, that they will move forward.
Unlike LNG agreements in Australia, the Premier’s bad deal makes no mention of job guarantees for local British Columbians, no meaningful discussion of partnership with First Nations, and the plan lets Petronas develop its own environmental regulations.
I want a deal that will guarantee jobs for this community and a fair return to this community.
I want a deal that makes true partnership with First Nations. Currently, Lax Kw’alaams are not on board and take issue with the impact this could have on critical salmon habitat.
New Democrats have long said that we support LNG. But unlike the Liberals, we’re not willing to sell out British Columbia in the process.
MLA – North Coast
Read the original piece here: http://www.thenorthernview.com/opinion/318715091.html