Coleman optimistic for LNG, but towns should control spending until projects committed

Minister in charge of natural gas development in B.C. visits Kitimat.

The government know what Kitimat needs as it faces natural gas mega-projects over the next decade, but the minister of natural gas development says the community can’t count their chickens before they’re hatched.

“We’re aware of all that,” said Rich Coleman following a Kitimat Chamber of Commerce-hosted luncheon on September 4 about Kitimat’s infrastructure needs.

That being the case, he said he’s cautioned all municipalities that they should not go ahead on major projects before they know whether or not a company will commit to construct.

“Lets make sure we’re in the right direction, that we actually have the investment. You don’t just build infrastructure and hope they’ll come.”

He adds that front end infrastructure development will happen, but that is something that will happen at a later stage.

Job and training needs will also be fleshed out provincially over the course of the fall, he said, and government ministries — including education and advanced education — will meet with industry proponents to put together a list of the required jobs for the projects.

From there the government will figure out where gaps exist in current training.

“We know that we’re going to have to change how we do our training, we know we’re going to have a shortage of skilled labour, we need to train people over the next three to five years,” he said.

He said that the Liberals’ level of anticipated jobs — about 75,000 to construct all proposed projects — is realistic.

He points to the over 2,000 for the camp at Rio Tinto Alcan’s modernization project, a project billed at about $3.3 billion.

A liquefaction plant for natural gas could run between $9 and $10 billion by comparison, he said.

In short, it all adds up.

But to make this all happen, the government has to set tax rates and other details to make B.C. attractive to the industries.(Coleman said he’s set to have B.C. become the go-to place for natural gas projects over Australia, which have a number of their own projects.)

Those details, which the government will also finalize over the fall, include carbon tax rates, greenhouse gas emissions, royalties, and the base tax rate, all with an eye for beating the province’s competition to attract these businesses.

“We’ve got to make sure that we make sure this is solid for people,” he said.

Meanwhile, he told the Prince Rupert community during a stop there the day before his Kitimat visit that he believes employment could potentially reach 100 per cent.

“I do think we will get to 100 per cent employment and still have a need for workers. I believe the opportunity is that huge,” he told members of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce.

But approaching employment and training has to be done carefully.

“We don’t want to have happen what did happen in Australia, which is they couldn’t fill the skilled labour positions needed so the price of the projects climbed.”

He said if the province gets 13 projects going — which includes a number of smaller scale plants — he said that means $100 billion in economic opportunity, which could lead to a debt-free province.

– Files from Shaun Thomas, The Northern View

Just Posted

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read