BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the BC Liberals were in Terrace on Wednesday where they promised to pursue a second LNG plant and build a Mills Memorial Hospital replacement.
“LNG is a generational opportunity for B.C. and here in Skeena it became a reality because of a BC Liberal vision,” said Wilkinson. “The NDP begrudgingly supported one LNG plant after we got it done. I’m up here today to say that a BC Liberal government will work with all of you to pursue a second LNG plant and create even more jobs and prosperity.”
This promise by Wilkinson came with a commitment to pursue resource revenue-sharing agreements with local communities in the region.
“Our rural, resource-producing communities have been taken for granted for far too long under John Horgan and the NDP,” said Wilkinson. “Under a BC Liberal government, B.C.’s rural and indigenous communities, whose livelihoods depend on a strong and prosperous natural resource sector, will once again get the respect they deserve.”
While in Terrace the BC Liberals also committed to building a replacement Mills Memorial Hospital, a promise Horgan and the NDP have repeatedly made but never delivered, they said.
Building prosperity in natural resource industries
We must ensure respect, certainty, and clarity for employment in the natural resource sectors.
Thriving natural resource industries are vital to sustaining our health care, education, and other public services — and BC’s industries must be globally competitive to succeed.
A BC Liberal Government will:
- Expedite LNG export projects through collaborative agreements with Indigenous groups involved in LNG, and work with them to establish accelerated review and approval processes.
- Review critical natural resource statutes and policies to eliminate uncertainty, provide clarity on processes and decision-making criteria, and adopt outcome-based performance measures.
- Ensure certainty on the land base for industries, municipalities and Indigenous peoples by working with Indigenous communities and other key groups to review land use plans for gaps and conflict-points, with the intent to update, modernize and create certainty for all in a sustainable resource management framework.
- Implement a fully online digital regulatory system by 2025.
- Improve the process for mine development, permitting, inspection and remediation, and cut the permit-processing time in half.
- Pursue resource benefit-sharing to support small and rural communities.
- Reinstate the Rural Dividend Program that was cancelled by the NDP.
- Work to ensure that our carbon tax system for job-creating export industries does not increase global greenhouse gas emissions by driving investment to higher-emitting jurisdictions.
Building new opportunities for Indigenous peoples
The BC Liberals are committed to addressing issues of economic and social inequality faced by Indigenous peoples.
We must act boldly as a province in working with our First Nations and federal government partners to create new opportunities for Indigenous peoples.
A BC Liberal Government will:
- Work with Indigenous peoples to ensure we don’t saddle future generations with unresolved issues of rights and title. We will work every single day to resolve these issues.
- Work to clearly define how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) relates to land use decisions and existing case law regarding title held by Indigenous peoples and the right to self-determination.
- Actively support the right of First Nations to negotiate for the economic benefit of their peoples with additional supports from the province, including renewing capacity funding.
- Provide financing mechanisms to enable First Nations to access affordable capital to co-invest in revenue-generating economic opportunities.
- Prioritize sector-specific job-training opportunities for Indigenous peoples.
- Expedite Indigenous-led LNG export projects through collaborative agreements with Indigenous groups involved in LNG, and work with them to establish accelerated review and approval processes.
- Require every provincial employee to undertake cultural safety and humility training.
- Work with the First Nations Health Authority to improve health and wellness for Indigenous peoples across BC, and to eliminate systemic racism from the health care system.