BURNABY – Today’s news that LNG Canada and the Government of British Columbia have inked a fiscal framework agreement is a positive step forward for the province’s Liquefied Natural Gas industry, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).

“We are thrilled with this big leap forward for LNG,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “LNG Canada’s potential investment in the B.C. would be the largest private sector investment in the history of our province. At more than $40 billion in private capital, it would be one of the largest projects every undertaken in Canada, it would create thousands of construction jobs, and it would generate opportunities and positive economic spinoffs for communities across B.C.”

Gardner pointed out that with the NDP and BC Liberals both on board, a provincial LNG industry has broad political support.  “By unlocking our world class energy asset, B.C.’s LNG industry will play an important role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by helping many Asian countries transition off coal,” said Gardner.

While ICBA is pleased that LNG Canada continues to move forward toward a final investment decision, more can be done by government to encourage the energy and construction industries.

“The NDP have been seen as reluctant – and sometimes hostile – about opportunities to responsibly harness the potential of our natural resources,” said Gardner who pointed out that businesses considering making investments or expanding in B.C. face excessive regulatory hurdles, an unpredictable political environment, and a growing tax burden that is making B.C. a high cost jurisdiction.

“These investments are critical to B.C.’s long-term prosperity,” said Gardner. “We have lost our focus on attracting investment, creating jobs and developing talent, and we are losing opportunities to grow our economy to other countries.”

ICBA has been encouraging the NDP to ‘Get to yes’ and ‘Stick to yes’ on responsible resource development and major infrastructure projects. “Stalled projects, like the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, represent billions of dollars of investment in new technology, training and community development that needs to move forward,” said Gardner.