Liberals make good decision

When I was re-elected as an MP and became a member of the Official Opposition, I made a few commitments publicly that were important to me.

One was not just to oppose, but also to propose ideas and solutions that can benefit our region and elsewhere.

Another commitment was to communicate government policy as clearly as possible in spite of the fact it might be strongly opposed by the opposition.

This commitment is important to me as one of my frustrations having sat on the government side of the House of Commons was how government policy was frequently intentionally mis-interpreted and distorted by the opposition.

Mis-stating government policy does a disservice to all involved and is why I have make every effort to avoid doing so in my weekly reports.

This all leads me to the government’s announcement to approve the Pacific Northwest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project.

I commend the Liberal government for making what is a difficult political decision that is unpopular with many citizens who voted for the Liberals.

The decision to approve the Pacific Northwest LNG project also comes with 190 conditions, many of them environmentally related, that must be met for the project to go forward.

This is not unlike the approval for the Northern Gateway pipeline project that had 209 environmentally related conditions that must be met. For more information view my June 19, 2014 MP Report on this subject.

Aside from these conditions, the government has also noted that the Pacific Northwest LNG project will create significant economic opportunities for not just B.C., but also for Canada.

This project represents a total capital investment of $36 billion and will create 4,500 jobs during the construction process along with 630 direct and indirect permanent jobs after completion.

Aside from these benefits, the B.C. LNG project will contribute an estimated $2.5 billion in annual tax revenue to government along with an increase of $3 billion per year to Canada’s GDP growth.

These are important considerations given that increases in health-transfer funding is now linked to GDP growth.

Having heard the many positive aspects of this project as opposition, I must also share some of the concerns voiced from those who strongly oppose this development.

As much as the Liberal government likes to use the talking point that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, the reality is, they do not.

This project will generate 4.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year not including an estimated 6.5 million to 8.7 million tonnes required for natural-gas collection and transportation.

As a result, the project would become one of the largest GHG emitters in Canada. This is a concern frequently raised by opponents since many climate experts already believe Canada will not meet the targets the Liberal government has committed to in Paris.

One other aspect on this project that is often overlooked is the fact that relatively clean burning B.C. LNG can be used in countries such as China as an alternative to coal-fired power plants.

This not only significantly reduces GHG emissions on a global scale; it also greatly improves local air quality, which is an important factor for human health in these regions.

While all projects have environmental considerations on balance, I believe the Liberal government has made the right decision in approving Pacific Northwest  LNG project.

However, I also believe the Liberal government does a disservice by making commitments at the Paris climate conference that are at odds with our ability to meet them, not unlike what occurred when a former Liberal government committed to the Kyoto agreement. 

I welcome your views on this or any subject before the House of Commons and can be reached at [email protected]  or toll-free at 1-800-665-8711.


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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