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BC's throne speech

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark says her province's bold pursuit of liquefied natural gas is similar to that of the almost unbelievable 1960s race to land astronauts on the moon.

Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon delivered the Liberal government's throne speech Tuesday, telling the legislature LNG offers British Columbia an incredible opportunity to grasp economic growth.

But she warned it will be challenging, much the same as the space race was more than 50 years ago.

Guichon's speech offered a slightly revised quotation from former United States President John F. Kennedy, who made the case for the moon landing in a famous speech.

"We choose to do this not because it will be easy, but because it is hard," Guichon said in a prepared version of the throne speech.

"Because it will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win."

Guichon said Kennedy's space race challenge was made during a time of strong economic growth and the U.S. government could afford space exploration, while today's economic times are much leaner.

"The central challenge facing that generation was different — they lived in a period of incredible growth," said Guichon.

"They could afford to go to the moon. The challenge facing our generation may be less dramatic. But it is no less important."

Guichon said the Liberals will lay out their LNG framework this year that includes tax policies, First Nations benefits and environmental actions designed to make the industry the cleanest in the world.

She repeated Clark's assertion that LNG is a generational opportunity that could create up to 100,000 jobs and eliminate the provincial debt, which currently stands at more than $60 billion.

Guichon said the Liberals will also introduce a motion to formally apologize for historical wrongs done to the Chinese-Canadian community.

The throne speech also promises to develop three 10-year projects involving transportation, education and skills training.

Guichon said the Liberals will introduce a 10-year skills training plan aimed at helping young people enter the workforce and measures to help older workers looking to retrain.

She said the Liberals also plan to develop a 10-year transportation plan that will identify the areas of BC with the greatest need for transportation investments.


The Canadian Press


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