ARCHIVED - LNG Canada Export Licence Announcement (News Conference)

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Draft Notes for Brief Remarks to the Media
by

The Honourable Joe Oliver, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Natural Resources

at the

LNG Canada Export Licence Announcement
(News Conference)

Vancouver, British Columbia
February 25, 2013

Introduction

Good morning, everyone. Thank you for attending our announcement. I am pleased to be joined this morning by Ellis Ross, Chief Councillor of the Haisla First Nation, and Anders Ekvall, Vice President LNG Americas, from Shell Canada. I am here in Vancouver to participate in British Columbia’s first international conference on liquefied natural gas.

This LNG conference has attracted industry representatives and potential clients from around the world — a sign that B.C. is emerging as a major player in the global natural gas market and as a world-class exporter of liquefied natural gas. Natural resources already account for 100,000 direct jobs in British Columbia and 80 percent of British Columbia’s export of goods.

The energy prospects for this province are remarkable. Global energy demand is expected to increase by 35 percent from between 2010 and 2035, and Canada is well positioned to support that demand. The Conference Board of Canada estimated potential investment by the natural gas industry in B.C. of more than $180 billion between now and 2035 — that’s an average of more than $7.5 billion each year — supporting up to 54,000 jobs annually. The estimated total gas in place in B.C. could be as much as 1,200 trillion cubic feet — that’s 34 trillion cubic metres — equivalent to 275 years of Japanese natural gas demand.
In other words, B.C. has the resources and the supply to be a major exporter of natural gas for generations to come.

Announcement

Today, I’m pleased to announce that our Government has approved an export licence to LNG Canada to transport liquefied natural gas from the terminal proposed by the Shell consortium in Kitimat. The 25-year licence allows for up to 24 million tonnes of LNG to be exported per year — the largest licence awarded so far.

We know that Canada’s supply of natural gas is large enough to easily accommodate our domestic needs as well as the proposed LNG exports. We also know that 100  percent of Canada’s natural gas exports are currently transported to the United States, which has discovered vast new reserves of its own.

It is therefore crucial for jobs and the economy in British Columbia, and also for our collective long-term prosperity, that we plan to responsibly transport Canadian natural resources to the fastest-growing region of the world.

New Markets

Of course, the logical place to look for new markets for natural gas from British Columbia and Western Canada is across the Pacific. The LNG Canada licence is the third long-term licence issued since 2011. Its approval is one example of our effort to reach new markets for Canadian energy and to strengthen our trading partnership with the Asia–Pacific region.

It is in Canada's national interest that we continue to generate revenue for important social programs, including health care and education, and that’s what our plan to responsibly develop Canada’s natural resources aims to do.

In every Asia–Pacific country I visited in the past year — China, India, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines — long-term energy security is an overarching concern: where to find the energy needed to fuel economic growth and meet the energy demands of an expanding middle class. Increasingly, these countries look to Canada, a stable, reliable trading partner that honours its contractual commitments. So there is great complementarity in our strategic objectives: their need to diversify sources of supply and our need to diversify our markets.

The number of projects proposed here in British Columbia and across the country demonstrates the high level of confidence that global investors have in this province and Canada, with its competitive fiscal policies and openness to foreign investment.

All this has immense economic potential. If the five major LNG projects proposed for B.C. go forward, they could generate more than $1 trillion in economic activity over the next 30 years. In fact, for all of Canada, our most recent estimates show that there are over 600 major natural resource projects underway or planned over the next 10 years, representing a total investment of some $650 billion.

We are determined to see that Canadians enjoy the benefit of every last one of those dollars — to make Canada the most attractive destination in the world for capital. Investment means jobs, growth and long-term prosperity — and that must be and is our first priority as a government.

Responsible Resource Development

After discussions at successive annual meetings with federal, provincial and territorial energy ministers, our Government implemented our plan for Responsible Resource Development. We are making Canada’s resource development system more efficient by eliminating duplication in the regulatory approval process, while increasing environmental protection.

We are also enhancing Aboriginal consultation, by involving Aboriginal communities earlier in the regulatory process. In fact, Aboriginal communities are benefitting meaningfully from resource development across Canada. The natural resource industry currently supports 31,000 Aboriginal jobs — making natural resources the largest employer of Aboriginals in Canada.

Our plan supports First Nations in creating many more opportunities. It is encouraging to hear about some of the successes here in British Columbia. The Haisla Nation, under Ellis Ross's leadership, is actively working to create sustainable opportunities for their people. Add to this the very good safety track record of gas pipelines, LNG terminals and LNG tankers — an issue which is of critical importance to the Haisla — and we have a win-win situation. The  Kitimat LNG Terminal is located on the Bees Indian Reserve No. 6, and the Haisla First Nation has an interest in operating, managing and exporting companies involved in the Douglas Channel LNG Project.

Going forward, our Government will continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal communities. We will implement reforms that add to the clarity and predictability that investors seek. And we will provide enhanced protection for Canada's environment.  

Conclusion

Our Government will not proceed with any resource project unless it is safe for the environment and safe for Canadians. To further enhance safety for shipping on both our east and west coasts, we announced in Economic Action Plan 2012 measures to strengthen Canada’s tanker safety regime, including regulations to enhance inspection requirements for tankers and improve aids to navigation.

With our plan, Canada’s regulatory system is being modernized to meet the needs of all Canadians, including Aboriginal peoples.

And through actions such as the approval of LNG Canada’s export licence, we are building an even stronger economy for Canada, while creating jobs and prosperity for all Canadians.

I would now like invite Chief Ross of Haisla First Nation to offer his views on today’s announcement.

Thank you.