MLA Bill Bennett discussed the opportunity facing British Columbians to take advantage of liquefied natural gas development in Penticton Thursday night.
Bennett said opening up the gas fields in the northeast part of BC will be beneficial to the entire province at a free enterprise forum held at the Wine Country Visitor Centre.
“If we can build pipelines for gas and liquefy it, we can get more for it if we ship it to Asia, and that is a very good thing for Canadians, British Columbians,” he said.
The effort would be on the scale of what Alberta faced 40 years ago, when they discovered they had oil and could ship it to the U.S. or Norway, when it discovered off-shore oil.
In Penticton, money coming in could go the arts, the trail system, sports, to benefit the wine industry and the hospital everyone is talking about, Bennett, also the minister of community, sport and cultural development, stated.
Those in attendance, from Mayor Dan Ashton and other city council members to people involved in the wine industry and sports, said it was a good opportunity to learn about revenues coming in to benefit the tourism industry and cultural and sports activities.
“We are here because we are interested in staying up to date on what is happening in BC and how that relates to tourism,” said Lyndie Hill of Hoodoo Adventures.
According to this information from the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines the province has committed to having three LNG facilities in operation by 2020, assuming all environmental approvals are granted.
Based on current estimates from project proponents, that could mean:
- over $20 billion in direct new investment
- as many as 9,000 new construction jobs
- about 800 long-term jobs
- thousands of potential spin-off jobs
- over $1 billion a year in additional revenues to government