In a remote corner of northern British Columbia lies the Sacred Headwaters, a vast alpine basin that is the shared birthplace of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers. Royal Dutch Shell wants to drill more than 1,000 coalbed methane gas wells in the Sacred Headwaters, threatening communities, wildlife and wild salmon. Fortune Minerals wants to turn Mount Klappan into an open pit coal mine. Concerned citizens from around the world are calling for steps to safeguard the Sacred Headwaters from Shell and Fortune Minerals. Please join us.
Well, the provincial budget is out, and guess what – Christy Clark’s promises of BC’s debts paid off by LNG, a $100 billion legacy fund and jobs for everyone, have turned to ashes.
What she and her cabinet are actually delivering is a nightmare of monumental proportions. The provincial budget proposes that 100 per cent of the capital costs of building any new LNG facilities will be deducted from the revenues due the owners of the resource, which is us.
Every penny Petronas, Shell, Sinopec, et. al., spends on LNG infrastructure gets 100 per cent subsidized by the BC taxpayer.
Instead of what she promised, a tax on revenues that would lift BC to wealth and prosperity, what she delivered is tax-free revenues to the wealthiest corporations on earth.
It gets worse. Recent investigations show that the claim of 100,000 new jobs was the creation of consultants hurriedly hired pre-election to make up that particular fantasy, which BC’s electorate bought, hook, line and sinker.
It gets worse. Now it seems there are not enough skilled workers in Canada to build these plants and pipelines, and her cabinet ministers are starting to ask the feds to “relax” restrictions on hiring even more foreign workers.
Seems like everyone in Canada who has the skills to actually build pipelines, is already working. Do you think the pipes will be built with Canadian steel?
Do you really think Chinese and Malaysian tycoons give a damn about the 14 per cent of Canadian youth without jobs?
These corporations are now bitterly complaining that once they are reimbursed by BC’s taxpayers for building their own plants and pipes, the 7 per cent tax on revenue makes us uncompetitive.
So kiss the $100 billion legacy fund goodbye as well. And by the way, the promise that BC will eliminate all its debt in a few years? Seems real economists are calling BS on that too. It was a lie also.
And Harper, Redford, Oliver and the rest of the oil soaked crew keep insisting that this is all good for Canada, that it is in our “national interest”.
This is not some whack job conspiracy theory. A few weeks ago the Chinese Consul, in Alberta, speaking to the oil industry, demanded that Canada “loosen up” regulations so it’s easier for Chinese to take Canadian jobs if Canada wants continued Chinese investment.
Our kids can’t afford to rent a basement suite and Harper is ramming oil tankers down our throats.
The highest paying job in the tar sands is selling crack in Fort McMurray, and those jobs go to our highest paid foreign workers, Somali drug lords.
Welcome to Harper and Christy Clark’s Canada circa 2014. Welcome to Fort McTerrace. I wonder how good the fishing will be with 50,000 in Fort McTerrace? Is this your vision for your hometown?
And just in case you think this is some NDP attack on conservatives – the NDP supported all this madness unequivocally in the last election – and Robin Austin criticized the Liberals for being too aggressive with the LNG industry!
The BC NDP fell all over themselves trying to out neo con the neo cons, because they were taking the largest corporate donations in their history from LNG corporations.
And our local leaders don’t really want to know about the other promise – the “cleanest LNG in the world”.
Coastal First Nations offered up a pathway to that, real and ethical investment in sustainable energy, and Shell told them to get lost. We need a rational, civil conversation on energy policy and development, however we are actually being steered in the opposite direction.
We need to be smart about how we use natural gas to build real jobs, for Canadians. We need to start acting like owners, not victims, instead of trying to liquidate our most valuable and strategic energy resources for the lowest possible prices, as quickly as possible.
And for who? To benefit mostly foreign companies? Even Barack Obama couldn’t get away with that crap, but it seems Harper and Christy Clark can. Oh Canada, who is standing on guard for thee?
Bruce Hill, Terrace, B.C.