The federal government's approval of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project has been presented as a positive outcome for industry and government, and a negative one for First Nations. The simple truth is, not all First Nations are opposed to the project. In fact, many along the project's route are in favour, and here's why
As a progressive voter, it was disappointing to watch the press conference announcing the federal approval of Petronas' Pacific Northwest LNG project, an industrial project that would trample the rights and title of First Nations and make it virtually impossible for B.C. to meet greenhouse gas emission targets.
Don't get me wrong: B.C. truly is a glorious place -- the type of place you can fly over in a seaplane and easily think the wilderness will never end. But it's also one of the world's last frontiers and the race is on to cut down our old-growth forests, to send more oil tankers into our ports, to build natural gas plants in our salmon estuaries and to flood our rivers for megadams.
If consumers in Asia use British Columbian LNG, the global emissions will be 20 per cent lower than LNG from our competitors. If this LNG replaces coal, the global benefit is even greater as it will produce less than half the emissions of a comparable coal plant. In both cases, B.C. LNG is better for the planet than the alternatives.
To put it in a local context: the B.C. government is providing unprecedented tax breaks to what is effectively a foreign Crown corporation, where the prime minister is suspected of siphoning off US$700 million from one of its other Crown corporations to his personal bank accounts. Doesn't inspire confidence.
This decision to reject over $1-billion, which was offered to gain consent for the proposed Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on Lelu Island in the Great Bear Sea, sends a clear message of opposition to a project that threatens this ecologically and culturally rich region and its salmon-based economy.
B.C. Premier Clark is being accompanied to India by the advanced education minister and 72 travelling companions from different economic sectors including education, LNG and the film industry. But there's also representation from the fashion industry, decorative stones, a port authority, a modelling agency, heavy equipment, a used car dealer, a travel firm and even a Tim Horton's franchisee. A handful of the companies don't have a website or a listed phone number anywhere in Canada.