There was a telling comment from Shell Global’s Maarten Wetselaar — representing five multinational investors in a $40 billion project to ship B.C. liquefied natural gas to Asia — amidst the hoopla that accompanied Tuesday’s LNG announcement.
“The governments of Canada and British Columbia have helped to ensure that the right fiscal framework is in place to make sure that the pie is divided in a just and fair way,” Wetselaar told a Vancouver news conference hosted by LNG Canada, which will oversee construction of a 670-kilometre pipeline carrying natural gas from northeastern B.C. to a processing plant in Kitimat, where it will be liquefied for transport in ocean tankers.
“And that fiscal framework leads to why we believe LNG Canada is in the right place.”
The “right” fiscal framework amounts to a bouquet of government subsidies for B.C.’s largest carbon polluter, including tax reprieves, tax exemptions and cheaper electricity rates for some of the largest and most profitable multinationals in the world — the LNG Canada quintet of Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi Corp., Malaysian-owned Petronas, PetroChina Co. and Korean Gas Corp.
At a technical briefing for media, a B.C. senior government official pegged the province’s total financial incentives for the project at $5.35 billion.
The first of the incentives, a break on provincial sales tax during project construction, was approved Tuesday by the B.C. Cabinet.
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