It’s being billed as the largest-ever private investment in Canadian history and fulfills the dreams of two B.C. premiers: the $40-billion LNG Canada project has received the green light from shareholders.
The co-owners of the liquefied natural gas project, which will be located in Kitimat, B.C., flew to Vancouver to make the announcement alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, B.C. Premier John Horgan, and First Nations leaders. The terminal and associated pipeline are expected to create 10,000 construction jobs, revitalize B.C.'s north coast and boost the confidence of international investors looking to do business in Canada. It also gives the federal government and the petroleum industry a much-needed victory on the heels of a Federal Court of Appeal ruling that blocked the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
Mr. Trudeau, already buoyed by this week’s agreement with the U.S. and Mexico to replace NAFTA, hailed the LNG Canada project as a sign of confidence in the Canadian economy, which he says depends on getting the country’s resources to market.
But the project also has risks for both Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Horgan, who have made fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions major priorities. LNG Canada will generate significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, which the B.C. government estimates will amount to 3.4 megatonnes a year (environmentalists say the real figure will be much higher).
Those emissions will make it more difficult for B.C. to meet its climate targets, and this poses a particular problem for Mr. Horgan. His NDP government is in power thanks to support from the third place BC Greens. Leader Andrew Weaver has previously threatened to bring down the government over the issue.
Mr. Weaver has softened his threats somewhat, saying he will look at the province’s climate plan before acting. And his party’s support for LNG-related legislation won’t be needed, because the Opposition BC Liberals, who all but took credit for the project’s approval, are expected to be enthusiastic supporters.
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