LNG tax breaks lauded

By Cheryl Jahn
March 26, 2019 - 3:51pm Updated: March 26, 2019 - 5:58pm

PRINCE GEORGE - Liquified natural gas has been the buzz words in B.C. after LNG Canada made a positive final investment decision last October. The $40 billion project will have significant impacts on Northern BC. Yesterday, Finance Minister Carole James introduced legislation that would set out three things:

* amend the Income Tax Act to implement a natural gas tax credit for LNG development in British Columbia;
* repeal the Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act that created barriers for investment in B.C.'s natural gas sector; and
* repeal the Liquefied Natural Gas Project Agreements Act that left British Columbians vulnerable to footing the bill for special industry tax and regulatory protections.

Stan Mitchell, Partner at KPMG, says there are other incentives, such as a deferral of provincial sales tax during construction of a project. In the case of LNG Canada's project alone, translates into $596 million. he says the legislation also freezes the carbon tax at current levels, provided the LNG plant can meet or beat certain emissions benchmarks. He says all of is makes BC far more attractive to investment by the LNG sector. 

"Absolutely. You know having an incentive and being able to be competitive is a big factor."

However, he says there are other factors that impact a final investment decision, such as commodity prices and demand. 

The Coastal GasLink pipeline, which will bring the natural gas to the plant in Kitimat, runs through Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad's riding. 

"LNG is certainly something that people in my riding are looking forward to. But what troubles me about the act [the NDP] are bringing is, is that there's too much secrecy.  The Act sets out a number of steps, but we haven't seen the full plan that they have." 

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