Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald talks LNG development with Premier Christy Clark during a campaign stop in the community earlier this year.

Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald talks LNG development with Premier Christy Clark during a campaign stop in the community earlier this year.

Port Edward proof of LNG’s potential impact, Premier tells UBCM

If people in the province need proof of the impact of LNG development, they need look no further than Port Edward.

If people in the province need proof of the impact of LNG development, they need look no further than Port Edward.

That was the message Premier Christy Clark delivered in her speech to a room full of elected officials at the 2013 Union of British Columbia Municipalities on Sept. 20.

“Ask Dave MacDonald of Port Edward. He has a total municipal budget of $2 million and the district hasn’t sold a piece of land in the last 12 years. Until this year, when they have sold $2 million in land. They will have sold another $2 million in land by the end of the year … Port Edward [will have] sold $4 million of land in a community where people haven’t wanted to buy land in over a decade,” she said, noting that $7 billion has been spent by companies already.

“If you don’t believe LNG is happening, talk to the people of Port Edward.”

The speech came on the same day the Province of B.C announced it was making $150,000 in infrastructure planning grants to communities in the Northwest that will be impacted by the development of the LNG industry. The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development will be finalizing grants to the eligible communities in the coming months.

“Communities in the northwest will see an influx of jobs – and people – as a result of LNG development. It’s our job to help them manage that growth and assess what their communities need in terms of housing, municipal services like water and sewer and provincial services in health, education and justice,” said Premier Clark.

“These grants will be the first step in that process.”

Both the speech and news of the grant were welcomed by Mayor MacDonald.

“We have to make sure the different government agencies know we are going to need help with infrastructure should Pacific NorthWest LNG move ahead,” he said.

“We could be looking at a situation where we have three times as many people living in Port Edward.”