Where do the different parties stand on Woodfibre LNG? We've pulled together a brief overview of each of the parties and their position on Woodfibre LNG below.
Christy Clark's BC Liberals
The BC Liberals have gambled everything on setting up an LNG export industry, and Woodfibre LNG is one of their only hopes. Their 2017 platform includes a "Goal of three LNG plants moving to construction by 2020."
As LNG prices have plummeted 70%, the BC Liberals have slashed taxes to try to make LNG projects viable. Instead of the $100 billion dollar prosperity fund, the BC Liberals have used $500 million of our taxpayer money to kickstart the fund. Instead of jobs for Canadians, the BC Liberals have signed deals with China to allow cheaper, temporary foreign workers that have more expertise. The new e-drive subsidy intended to encourage LNG projects means that your hydro bills will go up so Woodfibre LNG can have rate-payer subsidized power.
The BC Liberals are under investigation by Elections BC and the RCMP after The Globe and Mail revealed the party is accepting illegal donations from lobbyists, specifically highlighting donations by Byng Giraud and Marian Ngo from Woodfibre LNG. To date, Woodfibre LNG has donated more than $167,000 to the BC Liberals in the last three years.
MLA Jordan Sturdy (West Vancouver Sea to Sky riding), who is very supportive of Woodfibre LNG, has one of their previous staff members working as his campaign manager; while environment minister, Mary Polak, lists a FortisBC lobbyist on her campaign team.
John Horgan's BC NDP
The BC NDP also support Woodfibre LNG, and their 2017 platform lists that they will "Safely develop natural gas: we'll make sure that BC benefits from LNG opportunities by implementing four conditions:
- Projects must offer jobs and training for British Columbians, especially jobs for local people.
- The people of BC must get a fair return for our resources.
- Projects must secure full partnerships with local First Nations.
- Projects must complete a made-in-BC environmental assessment and respect our commitments to combating climate change."
Here's the catch: The BC NDP voted with the BC Liberals in 2015 to slash taxes on LNG exports to 3.5%. With taxes charged on profits, BC bears all the risk and no reward as profits may never be realized.
Woodfibre LNG has also been hedging its bets, donating $56,000 to the BC NDP in the last three years, with $38,000 dollars donated in 2016 alone. We will need to watch closely to ensure that those donations don't result in more political favours, as we've seen with the BC Liberals.
The good news is that some individual candidates are starting to speak out in opposition to Woodfibre LNG, but we need to keep the pressure up.
Andrew Weaver's BC Greens
The BC Greens are the only party that don't support Woodfibre LNG, and they are also calling for a moratorium on fracking.
Andrew Weaver "first denounced LNG as a “pipe dream” moments after taking the oath of office as an MLA in 2013. He was the only member of the house to vote against the special tax regime slashing taxes to 3.5% that the Liberals and New Democrats approved in a show of “bipartisan” support for LNG development in the fall of 2014." Read the full article here.
The BC Greens released this press release about Woodfibre LNG, stating “This is the wrong project, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. It will hurt our climate leadership, it lacks a strong economic case, and it has received no social licence for what is being pushed forward. The community has not given its permission.”
The BC Greens have also banned corporate and union donations.