Premier Christy Clark meets Lt. Governor Judith Guichon for presentation of the throne speech at B.C. legislature.

B.C. throne speech focuses on trade, teachers

Premier Christy Clark opens legislature session offering progress on LNG, aboriginal partnership and labour peace with teachers

VICTORIA –  Premier Christy Clark’s government launched its fall legislative session Monday with a speech from the throne offering progress on resource trade, partnership with aboriginal people and labour peace with public school teachers.

The speech described B.C. following the same path to Asia for liquefied natural gas as it did in expanding lumber trade when the U.S. housing market declined.

“Like forestry, B.C.’s natural gas industry has relied on exports to the United States,” said the speech, read by Lt. Governor Judith Guichon. “But the American shale gas revolution has meant the export south has dried up – and is never coming back.”

The gas industry employs 1,700 people in the Fort Nelson area alone, and can be maintained only by reaching Asian markets. The speech notes that Chinese LNG consumption rose by a fifth in the first half of 2014.

“This is a chance – not a windfall,” the government notes, after one of the leading investment groups warned of shifting conditions that could delay its participation.

Clark told reporters after the speech that talks continue with Petronas, leader of one of the largest of 15 current LNG proposals, with a pipeline and gas export facilities planned for the B.C. north coast.

“We are good at negotiating in this government,” Clark said. “We’ve got a good record. We’re going to keep negotiating hard.”

The government plans to table framework legislation this month to define the environmental standards and tax structure for the industry, which has more than a dozen international players considering LNG development.

NDP leader John Horgan said it’s been a year since the government first promised a tax structure for LNG, and now with a deadline looming at of the end of October, Clark is trying to back away from 2013 election promises to retire B.C.’s debt and slash taxes based on LNG revenue.

“I think we gave away our bargaining power when it comes to liquefied natural gas,” Horgan said. “Everyone in the sector knows that the premier is way out on a branch and made commitments that she cannot keep.”

The speech described the recent six-year labour agreement with B.C. teachers after a strike that stretched from spring to the early weeks of the fall school term.

“British Columbia can look forward to five years of labour peace,” the speech said. “This is unprecedented. We cannot let this opportunity pass.”

 

Just Posted

Driving Change: A Kelowna man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Kelowna examines options to connect Rutland with rail trail

Public feedback on the four options is available online until May 6

Wanted man nabbed after flipping car in Kelowna

A wanted man is now facing charges

Dangerous driver stopped by spike belt in Lake Country

The driver was arrested in Lake Country after fleeing the scene in Kelowna

Cops cuff good guys for great cause

Kelowna RCMP arrested members of the public as part of their annual Cops for Kids fundraiser.

Kelowna properties flooded along Heimlich Road

Flooding started on Spiers Road Tuesday and continued into properties, said an area resident

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

The “industry will collapse” : South Okanagan winery reacts to ruling

Okanagan Falls winery concerned for the future of the industry after Supreme Court ruling

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Rock titans rule Prospera Place

Peter Frampton and Steve Miller have been friends for 51 years.

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

Most Read