BRITISH COLUMBIA

India Workers Offered B.C.'s LNG Jobs By Christy Clark, Says NDP

10/29/2014 05:09 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST
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B.C. Premier Christy Clark is coming under fire for reportedly offering jobs building B.C.'s LNG industry to workers in India.

According to a story in the Times of India’s economic pages, Clark made the suggestion at a speech she gave during her recent trade tour to India.

The premier reportedly told the gathering of potential domestic investors in New Delhi two weeks ago that B.C. can help India with its skilled worker shortage.

"If we can help train 3,000 and 300 of them help us build an LNG industry, it's good for you and good for us," Clark is quoted as saying.

The NDP's Harry Bains does not see that offer as helpful to the 124,000 British Columbians who are currently unemployed.

"She will say anything that she thinks is what people want to hear," said Bains.

"But she has already made up her mind about what she wants to do and that is, bring in cheap labour, and if they complain, ship them back to their own countries."

B.C. will likely have to use temporary foreign workers if several LNG plants are built at once, but sources in the premier's office insist Clark's number one priority is to ensure British Columbians are first in line for those jobs, followed by other Canadians.

Bains says he's not convinced, given the premier's overseas comments.

News of Clark's reported comments comes as British oil and gas producer BG Group PLC says it will be the next decade before it goes ahead with a liquefied natural-gas export terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C..

Last year BG Group told regulators that it could begin construction on the first phase of an LNG plant next year, but BG Canada president Madeline Whitaker says that time line is now uncertain.

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