A new report by the Conference Board of Canada, and funded by the Canadian LNG Alliance, determined that a 56-million-tonnes-per-year LNG industry in British Columbia would generate nearly 100,000 jobs.
For nearby Alberta, who has struggled under the anti-pipeline movement to get its oil its primary market, the United States, while turning a profit, those 100,000 jobs—in Canada as a whole, not just in B.C.–may not make up for what it lost from oilsands operations after B.C. fought tooth and nail against the much-needed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
For B.C., who would be the recipient of more than two-thirds of those jobs, it would be sweet victory.
In addition to the jobs, total wages from an LNG industry would be boosted by more than $6 billion ($4.6 billion for B.C.), and increase Canada’s GDP by $11 billion annually. More than $108 billion in provincial revenue could be generated for the provinces, according to the report, with $94 billion of it going to B.C.
The federal government would receive about $64 billion in additional revenue.
Of course, that LNG industry would come at a cost—of about $500 billion, spread over more than forty years, according to the report “A Rising Tide: The Economic Impact of B.C.’s liquified natural gas industry”.
The war between B.C. and Alberta has been raging for years, centered around Alberta’s oil and a pipeline that must run through B.C. The disagreement has sparked threats of lawsuits and withholding the oil, with the federal government caught in the middle.
Unfortunately for Canada, it doesn’t have a great track record in recent years for getting energy projects off the ground, and an ambitious LNG industry poses more challenges than solutions.