LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz announces natural gas export project partnered with Shell, Korea Gas, PetroChina and Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan in 2014. (Black Press files)

B.C. NDP offers tax breaks to jumpstart LNG Canada in Kitimat

‘We’re not giving away more money,’ Premier John Horgan says

The B.C. NDP government has offered additional incentives to LNG Canada for its proposed $40 billion natural gas export project from northeastern B.C. gas fields to Kitimat.

Premier John Horgan announced Thursday his government has offered the Shell-led project an exemption on provincial sales tax for its construction, and is getting rid of the previous government’s income tax on liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales.

The incentives would take effect if LNG Canada decides to go ahead by November 2018.

Horgan told reporters at the legislature the opportunity is “spectacular,” but there are significant risks. He also responded to questions about his previous opposition to former premier Christy Clark’s plan, which Horgan said was too generous to natural gas producers, even including the LNG income tax.

Government officials estimate that the new NDP incentives would result in the province forgoing $6 billion in revenues over 40 years that would have been collected if LNG Canada had proceeded under the previous government’s tax and gas royalty system. The new tax regime is estimaed to generate $22 billion in tax and other revenue for the province if LNG Canada proceeds, down from a previous estimate of $28 billion.

Horgan said the new government’s review of the previous B.C. Liberal tax system, including the world’s only LNG income tax, would not have resulted any large LNG plants being approved by investors under current market conditions.

Horgan said he has discussed his latest proposal extensively with B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, who said in January he would withdraw his support for the NDP minority government if it promoted LNG exports.

Weaver said he does not support carbon tax breaks for LNG producers and is concerned that LNG development places an additional burden on other industries to meet B.C.’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. But he intends to continue supporting the NDP government while it works towards meeting those targets, despite an estimated 10 per cent increase that would occur with LNG Canada operating.

“We’re not giving away more money” with the extra tax incentives, Horgan said Thursday. B.C. Hydro will sell power to any new LNG project at standard industrial rates, and future carbon tax increases could be rebated for LNG Canada only if it meets standards for the world’s cleanest LNG production that will increase over time.

The B.C. Liberals were quick to circulate Horgan’s quotes from 2013, when the Clark government was working with Petronas-led Pacific Northwest LNG, LNG Canada and others. Horgan opposed selling B.C. Hydro power at the standard industrial rate to LNG producers, at one point calling it a “subsidy” to them from residential ratepayers across the province.

LNG Canada is a partnership of Shell, which owns 50 per cent of the project and has extensive gas well developments in northeastern B.C., along with PetroChina, KOGAS of South Korea and Mitsubishi of Japan.

Just Posted

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

GUEST COLUMN: B.C.’s proportional representation vote is dishonest, misleading

Veteran of 2005 Citizens’ Assembly urges rejection of new voting systems

Most Read