B.C. politicians battle over LNG jobs

NDP's John Horgan says there should be employment guarantees; Premier Christy Clark says trades training is the key

NDP leader John Horgan says his party will vote against the LNG development deal proposed by Premier Christy Clark.

The B.C. legislature has convened with the opposition focus on a lack of guarantees for B.C. jobs in the government’s project agreement for a major liquefied natural gas project at Prince Rupert.

NDP leader John Horgan confirmed Monday his party will vote against legislation setting terms for the Petronas-led Pacific Northwest LNG project, mainly due to a lack of assurances for local employment and purchasing. He also cited opposition from some First Nations communities and 25-year protection for the project from LNG-specific tax increases.

“This government has constrained the ability of the next government to look at this deal to increase royalties back the Crown, to increase greenhouse gas emission laws to protect the public,” Horgan said. “That’s just unconscionable and we won’t support it.”

Premier Christy Clark staged an announcement of new funding for apprenticeship training Monday, arguing that her government’s retooling of post-secondary education is a response to investors who want to hire B.C. and Canadian workers wherever they can.

“There’s a reason the unions support what we’re doing, and there’s a reason that the unions disagree with what Mr. Horgan has said,” Clark said. “It’s because they know that if we work together and we’re making sure British Columbians are first in line for those jobs, British Columbians will get those jobs first.”

Clark scoffed at Horgan’s claim that up to 70 per cent of construction jobs on the Prince Rupert project could go to foreign workers.

The figure comes from Pacific Northwest’s filing to the federal environmental review, describing the potential impact of a large out-of-town workforce on northwestern B.C. communities.

A February 2014 consulting engineers’ report says “Canadian workers will account for 70 per cent of the onsite workforce for the first three years of construction. Due to competition from labour from other projects, Canadian workers may account for 30 per cent of the onsite workforce for the remaining two years of construction.”

In the final stages, B.C. LNG projects would assemble compression and refrigeration components manufactured offshore, with specialty skills such as welding metal alloys designed for low-temperature operation.

Clark said the Australian government did not develop a local workforce for LNG projects, and some of their projects were cancelled in the face of high labour costs and skilled trades shortages.

 

Just Posted

Banquo Folk Ensemble serenades Sidney

20 into performing, the ancient music ensemble visits the Peninsula

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Const. Sarah Beckett’s family honoured on Remembrance Day

Victoria Mountie was killed in the line of duty April 2016

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Greater Victoria bike sharing company looks to lock out thieves, vandals

U-Bicycle has lost about 10 per cent of its fleet to theft and vandalism

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

128 people died of illicit drug overdoses in B.C. in September

The province is on track to record the same or more overdose deaths this year as last

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Vancouver Island teen aims to build a bionic arm

Prosthetic prototype project latest in Nanoose student’s math, tech ambitions

Most Read