In 2013, Christy Clark campaigned on how the burgeoning liquefied natural gas industry was going to be the province’s economic salvation.
From providing more jobs than we could possible fill to eliminating the debt, it was to be the province’s path to economic Nirvana.
Heading into the 2017 election, WoodFibre LNG is the only liquefied natural gas project to get the greenlight from regulators and, perhaps more importantly, the investors who are going to fund the project. Pacific NorthWest LNG has received the green light from Ottawa and is now awaiting a final investment decision.
Judging by the premier’s speech at the B.C. Natural Resources Forum in Prince George this week, oil and gas is likely going to be the Liberals’ economic campaign plank. In addition, with Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline getting the federal and provincial go-ahead, it will likely be a controversial topic during the election campaign. However, Clark’s vision of B.C.’s future includes more pipelines.
“There are those who think the natural resource industry are the jobs of yesterday, the workers of yesterday, the businesses of yesterday,” she said. “We are all going to be called on to stand up for what the resource industry means in this province, what it means in Canada.”
It was a resources forum in northern B.C., so pretty much preaching to the choir, telling the audience what they wanted to hear, and what they’ve heard before from politicians located south of 70 Mile.
Clark said B.C. is still looking to be the world’s second largest supplier of liquefied natural gas.
“But just you wait,” she said. “Because up in the Montney, they say that we have, perhaps become the biggest play in western Canada for oil … Light, tight oil that British Columbia will be able to begin building pipelines for and exporting all around the world.”
So while in 2013 it was “all LNG, all the time,” in 2017 we’re probably going to get some oil thrown in for good measure. And if anyone on the other side of Hope thinks Clark has reservations about pipelines, think again.