So premier Christy Clark has made her whirlwind tour of the province – well, three communities outside the Lower Mainland anyway – and unveiled her BC Jobs Plan in full at a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon last Thursday.
The dust having settled, I find myself just a little bemused by the whole circus.
Granted, it was nice to see her visiting two Northwestern communities, but I can’t help but wonder just what the point was.
In Prince Rupert she announced that BC would be a minor partner in a planned upgrade at the port there, providing $15 million out of a total $90 million investment.
Except she wasn’t really announcing anything, just regurgitating a five year old promise.
Then it was on to Kitamaat Village where to my knowledge there wasn’t even an announcement – Clark certainly did not mention one when I interviewed her shortly afterwards.
But when the Jobs Deal was released in full, it contained an announcement of sorts – a target of one operational liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Kitimat by 2015 and two more by 2020.
Since KM LNG has long since said that it planned to have its Beese Cove plant up and running by 2015, Clark was hardly going out on a limb with that undertaking.
Especially since the BC LNG Co-operative is right behind KM LNG in the National Energy Board export permit queue but projected to be in production some 18 months sooner than KM LNG.
Which means just one other proponent has to come along and start up a plant within the next nine years to give her the hat trick.
The silly thing, of course, is that no government – provincial, federal or municipal – can claim credit for these developments.
They will go ahead because the economics make sense.
Natural gas producers can only get about $4 per million BTUs here while Asian markets are paying at least three times that.
It’s pretty simple math.
And Kitimat happens to be lucky enough to offer an excellent jumping off point to those markets.
All in all the whole week had that election campaign feel to it.
Leading me to suggest that maybe someone in the premier’s office should remind her she called it off.