For years while they were in opposition, NDP MLAs mocked our former BC Liberal government mercilessly for our vision on liquefied natural gas (LNG). While our BC Liberal team saw billions in revenues and thousands of jobs for British Columbians on the horizon, the NDP laughed us off. John Horgan himself said in 2015, “I would stop spending all my time talking about an industry that’s going nowhere.”
Well fast-forward to today, where we see the now-NDP government has completely reversed course on the issue.
Suddenly, LNG is an industry worth pursuing — so much so, that the NDP brought forward legislation offering tax benefits to industry that even exceeded what our former government was offering. It’s quite a change in tune, considering they accused us of giving away the farm and selling out.
They’ve also changed their minds on the issue of hiring local workers versus temporary foreign workers.
Despite the fact that years ago, then-Opposition leader Horgan urged, “we should make sure… that if we invite someone to take that product from the ground, they hire British Columbians and Canadians to do that” – today those guarantees are in question now that the NDP is in government.
Finance Minister Carole James recently admitted the number of British Columbians working on the LNG Canada project could range from just 35 to 55 per cent of the total workforce. Our caucus also obtained a government briefing note that shows plans have been made to expedite the use of foreign workers. So clearly, the NDP is abandoning its former position on the matter.
After much questioning of the NDP’s LNG tax legislation, our caucus supported it because we continue to believe strongly in the benefits that a thriving LNG sector will bring to the province. But it’s stunning to see John Horgan and the NDP’s dramatic about-face on this issue, after the years of mockery and criticism they levelled at our former government.
As John Horgan and his government flip-flop on this and other issues, it makes you wonder what else they will conveniently change their minds about as they learn that being in government is a lot harder than being in opposition.