It is getting difficult for all the naysayers to prove that the liquefied natural gas industry (LNG) hasn’t spent a significant amount of dough in the province.
Yes, everyone is still waiting for a final investment decision from at least one of the LNG proponents, but even during the wait-and-see period, deals are being made and money is being spent.
This month alone, substantial cash is flowing to the North Coast.
The first payments of $430,000 and $390,000 have already been made from the two pipeline benefit agreements made with the Metlakatla First Nation.
That is just this month and just the tip of the iceberg once some of the projects jump the final hurdles.
There have been millions already paid out.
Last week, Christy Clark announced that $9 million will go to the Tsimshian Alliance from the provincial government to fund skills training for the Tsimshian people in preparation for industry.
Despite still waiting for a final investment decision, Clark said that LNG is creating all kinds of employment. She stated that the LNG proponents have already spent $20 billion in the province.
Much of that money started on the eastern side of the province with exploratory work, drilling, engineering and detailed consultation with First Nations. On the North Coast, some of the proponents have spent a lot on proposed or investigated terminal sites.
The NDP opposition has said that the Petronas LNG project development agreement doesn’t promise jobs for British Columbians. That doesn’t seem to be true when considering that the Tsimshian Alliance is working with six LNG proponents to build a workforce to be ready to start once development begins.
Nothing will be quite as significant as when the one of the proponents does make its final investment decision and begins to build.
Regardless of the spin.
LNG money is already trickling in to the benefit of every community in northern B.C.
We hope the trickle becomes a torrent.