The latest Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report on British Columbia’s potential employment from liquefied natural gas fails to accurately reflect the economic reality facing our province.
The provincial government has been actively pursuing liquefied natural gas development because of the documented and verified benefits it will bring to British Columbians – particularly jobs.
In 2013 we commissioned the accounting firm, Grant Thornton, to conduct an independent analysis of the potential job creation and then a follow-up study came from KPMG in 2014. Both firms are internationally credible and well-respected. They determined that if five LNG plants were built, more than 100,000 jobs would be created in British Columbia, including more than 39,000 annual jobs over a nine-year construction period and approximately 75,000 jobs once the plants were fully operational. We stand by those numbers.
Unfortunately, the report the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released this week was based on out-dated and flawed information. The researchers chose not to contact the companies directly. If the authors had contacted Pacific NorthWest LNG they would have learned the latest job estimates for the project include approximately 4,000 jobs at peak construction and 330 long-term jobs. In addition, Progress Energy Canada will maintain approximately 3,500 jobs to feed natural gas to Pacific NorthWest’s facility. This one project represents thousands of direct jobs over its lifecycle and could enormously benefit northern B.C. in terms of jobs and economic activity.
And the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is missing the bigger picture. Each project comes with a substantial capital investment as well as spinoff jobs and economic benefits to northern communities. We’ve already heard from companies looking to expand their businesses in anticipation of this industry taking off. Our financial modelling takes into account the increase in economic activity that comes from indirect jobs like contractors and induced jobs as a result of B.C. families having more income.
We are working closely with industry, trades and educational institutions to make sure British Columbians are first in line for these jobs. Under our B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint, the Province has provided more than $13 million for nearly 3,000 trades training seats, ensuring British Columbians will have the skills and training necessary to take advantage of LNG opportunities.
We are incredibly fortunate to have a resource that will benefit all British Columbians and provide health care, education, jobs, and a bright future for our children and grandchildren. We will develop it responsibly, in partnership with First Nations. I’m proudly optimistic that this industry will be a generational opportunity for every one of us.