NDP saying no to jobs, misleading on Australia: B.C. Liberals

Rich Coleman Photo by Chandra Bodalia

THE BC NDP are trying to justify their opposition to jobs in British Columbia by deliberately mischaracterizing an agreement from Australia, said the B.C. Liberals on Tuesday.

“We get it, as always, the NDP is opposed to resource jobs that will benefit British Columbian families,” said Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman. “They’re saying no to the workers, they’re saying no to increased revenue to government, they’re saying no to opportunities for First Nations and they’re saying no to skills training for our youth. They’re living up to their name as the No Development Party.”

And, in trying to explain why they oppose LNG, the NDP have come up with a flimsy excuse that simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

“The NDP have been touting the Gorgon deal as a model, suggesting that it offers guaranteed jobs,” said Coleman. “But when you look at the actual agreement, it doesn’t match up with the NDP rhetoric. The NDP are just grasping to explain why they’re not on the side of working families.”

Here are some of the examples of language the NDP say provides “requirements” to use local labour:

* except in those cases where … it is not reasonable and economically practicable so to do, use labour available within Western Australia…

* using all reasonable endeavours …

* as far as it is reasonable and economically practicable so to do, use the services of … [Australia professionals] …

* … as far as practicable….

“So it’s based on this ‘ironclad’ language the NDP wants to say no to a $36 billion project and ensure there are no new jobs for British Columbians,” says Coleman. “We’ve been working with LNG companies. They are committed to hire B.C. first, then Canada, then outside only when it’s necessary. We have set up an LNG buy local program, and we are investing in skills training so that British Columbians are qualified for LNG jobs. We are committed to realizing this generational opportunity for the benefit of all British Columbians.

“The NDP should stop pretending, stop making excuses and admit they’re against resource development and that’s why they’re voting no. We’re going to be voting yes to jobs for British Columbians and we’re proud of that.”