VICTORIA — British Columbia is offering new conditions and rebates for liquefied natural gas projects in the province.Premier John Horgan made the announcement Thursday ahead of a final investment decision on LNG Canada’s $40-billion project, which would include a natural gas pipeline built from northeast B.C. to a new terminal in Kitimat.“Potential opportunity is extraordinary. Potential risks are significant,” Horgan said. “I believe LNG Canada is working diligently to address those risks and I believe it’s the responsibility of the government to make sure we’re working to develop those opportunities for all British Columbians.”Under the new fiscal agreement, LNG projects will see relief from provincial sales taxes, subject to repayment in the form of an equivalent operational payment.They will be subject to new greenhouse gas emission standards and general industrial electricity rates consistent with other industrial users in B.C.Horgan said the province will review LNG projects using four conditions. All LNG projects should guarantee a fair return for B.C.’s natural resources, guarantee jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians, respect and partner with First Nations, and meet the province’s climate commitments, he said.In January, Green party Leader Andrew Weaver threatened to bring down the minority NDP government if it continued to pursue what he described as the “LNG folly,” saying the province couldn’t meet its greenhouse gas emission targets if it pursues the LNG industry.In the past year, companies have pulled the plug on three LNG projects proposed in B.C., including the $36-billion Pacific Northwest LNG pipeline project.ll this massive LNG project needs is the thumbs up from its owners to snap Canada’s energy losing streak‘An unjustified infringement’: First Nation sues Ottawa, British Columbia over oil tanker banLNG Canada, which includes partners Shell, PetroChina, Korea Gas and Mitsubishi, said in 2016 that its final investment decision for the Kitimat facility would be delayed because of poor global markets.Those markets are turning around, says Shell’s 2018 LNG outlook. It found the market has defied expectations, growing by 29 million tonnes in 2017.“Based on current demand projections, Shell sees potential for a supply shortage developing in the mid-2020s, unless new LNG production project commitments are made soon.LNG development was a centrepiece of the B.C. Liberal party’s 2017 election campaign.— By Amy Smart in Vancouver.
SEVERAL MAJOR INTERNATIONAL clothing brands have signed an accord with two global trade unions, committing to improved fire and building standards in Bangladesh.The accord, reached with the IndustriALL and UNI global unions, comes three weeks after the collapse of a nine-storey garment factory in which over 1,000 people were killed.Primark, H&M, C&A and Inditex – the latter being the corporate owner of the Zara chain – have all committed to signing the accord after it is finally published tomorrow.The unions said the adoption of the new accord – which will be legally binding between all signatories – needs to be universal if a repeat of last month’s tragedy at the Rana Plaza complex is to be avoided.The deal included independent safety inspections of any garment factories, with the subsequent reports to be made freely available online. It would also include mandatory repairs and renovations wherever needed.It is expected to take effect later this year, and remain in place for an initial five-year term.H&M described the accord as a “pragmatic step towards addressing improved fire and building safety” in the ready-made garment industry, while Primark said it believed a collaborative approach was the best chance to bring bout a lasting change in the industry.Read: Bangladesh disaster ‘could happen again’ – but can we help?Poll: Will the Bangladesh factory collapse change the way you shop?