VICTORIA – Adrian Dix and the BC NDP need to let British Columbians know exactly where they stand on the future of B.C.’s natural gas sector. Do they support plans to boost the sector, including building Liquefied Natural Gas terminals, or do they stand with federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s recent comments on natural gas extraction?
In New Brunswick, Mr. Mulcair made accusations that the natural gas industry is, “pulling a con job” regarding the environmental safety of hydraulic fracturing practices (Canadian Press, June 11, 2012). Additionally, Mulcair said “Quebec has a moratorium on shale gas exploration and extraction…. It is a model worth following” (Telegraph-Journal, December 9, 2011).
“Mulcair thinks our natural resources are a disease. His comments aren’t just an attack on B.C.’s future plans to export Liquefied Natural Gas to Asian markets, but a threat to existing well-paying jobs associated with the entire natural gas sector,” said Rich Coleman, B.C.’s Minister of Energy and Mines. “Adrian Dix needs to be firm and either reject his federal leader’s comments or let British Columbians know that natural gas sector jobs might be on the endangered list under his watch. He cannot play both sides of the fence on this issue. Dix is either with B.C. or with Mulcair.”
B.C. has the highest standards in North America for extracting natural gas, including Canada’s first mandatory online hydraulic fracturing registry that provides a transparent accounting of operations.
“Our government’s Natural Gas Strategy, including Liquefied Natural Gas development, is vital to the BC Jobs Plan and the future financial health of B.C. Successful development of this resource will result in significant investments and thousands of stable and well-paying jobs,” added Coleman. “It’s one thing for Thomas Muclair to be more concerned with winning votes in Eastern Canada, but it’s another thing when Adrian Dix doesn’t step up to the plate and defend B.C.’s economic interests.”