Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is welcoming LNG Canada’s decision to proceed with a $40 billion liquefied natural gas project in northern B.C.
“Today’s final investment decision represents a significant opportunity for Kitimat and the Northwest,” said Cullen. “I am pleased to see the proponents’ commitment to hiring people in the Northwest and I acknowledge how many residents and local leaders advocated for this project to go ahead.”
There is significant support from the Haisla Nation and other indigenous groups along the route for the project, said Cullen who also stressed the need for further consultation and accommodation with First Nation groups who have real concerns with the project.
“It is pleasing to note the steps undertaken by LNG Canada to meaningfully engage with First Nation communities and respond to the concerns they heard. It is crucial that LNG Canada ensures that further meaningful consultation is undertaken before the final permits are issued and that every possible step is taken to address the concerns that remain”, stated Cullen.
The BC government has required that any new projects in the province fit into the existing climate target commitments, something that the federal government has failed to do, he said. Cullen highlighted these requirements as an important step in mitigating the environmental impact of the project. Local residents have also raised concerns about air quality and fish habitat and those must be addressed.
“I am confident that the B.C. government is serious about meeting its climate targets and the regulations the government have put in place on this project’s greenhouse gas emissions reflect this”, added Cullen. “It is vital that the federal government, who are failing to meet even Stephen Harper’s targets, also step up and take action to reduce carbon emissions.”
The Opposition Liberals, who have long touted and banked on an LNG industry in B.C., are also welcoming the news.
“This is a great day for British Columbians in every corner of the province,” said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson. “The BC Liberals have supported LNG in British Columbia for the last decade and we are very pleased to see the largest private sector investment in Canadian history being built in our province.”
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross, who advocated for LNG long before he became an MLA, said the decision shows that industry and Indigenous communities can work together.
“This proves we can show the world that First Nations and industry working together can unlock economic opportunity,” said Ross. “Many people worked hard to make this happen, but no one pushed harder for this than former Premier Christy Clark and we wouldn’t be here today without her.”
District of Kitimat Phil Germuth also welcomed the final investment decision.
“Kitimat is thrilled about the announcement today by LNG Canada,” Germuth said. “This is the culmination of many years of hard work by LNG Canada, our community, our Haisla Nation neighbors, many other communities, the federal and provincial governments and countless other stakeholders. LNG Canada has been an exceptional partner throughout the project development period. They did an outstanding job in effectively communicating and engaging with our community throughout the entire process.”
For Kitimat, he said it’s like reliving history as, in late 1950s, the Aluminum Company of Canada made the single largest private-sector investment in Canada’s history when it built the aluminum smelter in Kitimat.
“The LNG Canada project will now take top-spot for the largest private-sector investment in Canada,” he said. “We look forward to continuing our work with LNG Canada and its many partners. The project is aligned with our social, economic and environmental objectives. This investment decision is not only a win for our community; it will bring tremendous benefits to the entire region, province, nation, and the world.”