Thursday, February 14, 2013


BC Politics

Liberals Boast Big Numbers

Sterk says LNG no 'panacea' for BC economy

Released by Jane Sterk, BC Green Party


reen Party of BC Leader Jane Sterk expressed disappointment with a Throne Speech, which opened the final session of the current Legislature Feb. 11. The two dominant themes of the Liberal government's legislative agenda tie the future of BC's economic wellbeing to expansion of the Liquefied Natural Gas industry and creation of a BC Prosperity Fund.


Ms. Sterk noted that the government has left key factors out of its portrayal of natural gas as the future driver of the BC economy. The government is predicting $1 trillion dollars added to the provincial Gross Domestic Product over a 30-year period and about $100 billion in tax revenues.

The government also stated there would be 39,000 jobs created during the construction period and an additional 75,000 full time jobs.


“We will have to see how those figures are derived. But we also need to see some other calculations with regard to what we believe is a reckless rush into huge investments in a resource industry that will not be viable over even the medium term,” Ms. Sterk said.


“Nowhere in the Throne Speech was it mentioned that producing and using natural gas will release huge amounts of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere,” she noted. “That makes both the economic and environmental projections for LNG suspect at best. The world will inevitably have to wean itself from the use of hydrocarbons; where will BC be when it has based its future prosperity on huge investments into an unsustainable form of energy?”


She noted as well that the picture painted by the Liberal government suggests BC will be the only region to be producing natural gas, when in fact there is an abundance of natural gas globally. “Competition will reduce prices of LNG even in the short term, so to suggest it as a panacea for BC’s economy is in our view reckless.”


We support the development of a Prosperity Fund, Ms. Sterk said. The Green Party of BC has been advocating such an initiative for some time. “But we want to know if the government plans on directing some of the revenues from other resources, such as mining, into a Prosperity Fund. We believe it is a mistake to base it solely on natural gas, if that is the government’s plan.”


Ms. Sterk said the Green Party would have included investments in the development of alternative sources of energy in a Throne Speech. “BC has an abundance of alternative sources of energy, which will lead to genuine prosperity based on sustainable, renewable sources,” she said. “How can a government in the 21stCentury deliver a Throne Speech that emphasises a fuel source that will add immensely to the global warming crisis facing the world and not mention anything about alternatives?”


A focus on small business is welcomed. The Green Party of BC believes measures to decentralize government and bolster local economies are essential to the future prosperity of the province, and should have been in the Throne Speech. “We see a future where local economies are supported by legislation and a transfer of resources to the local level. That is where a truly resilient economy can be built, one that creates sustainable jobs.” 


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