January 17, 2024
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Today, BC United leader Kevin Falcon announced the Resource Prosperity Plan, designed to create jobs, boost paycheques, and maximize B.C.’s natural resource advantage in addressing global climate change.
“With our abundant natural resources, B.C. should be an absolute powerhouse,” said Kevin Falcon, Leader of BC United. “Clean electricity should be powering B.C.’s extraction of critical metals and minerals and other resources that the whole world needs as it transitions to a cleaner future. And British Columbians should be seeing amazing benefits — good jobs, big paycheques, and the knowledge that they’re contributing to a better future.”
“Unfortunately, the NDP has somehow turned that massive opportunity into an absolute mess,” continued Falcon. “Projects are getting choked by high taxes, red tape and uncertainty. Investment is fleeing, taking jobs and paycheques along with it. It’s time to stop apologizing for our natural resource sectors, end the NDP’s culture of ‘no’ and start getting big things done again in British Columbia.”
B.C.’s natural resource commodity exports have on average half the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of other jurisdictions and could help reduce global emissions by providing clean energy, low-carbon commodities and critical metals and minerals essential for renewable power.
“It’s time to unlock our natural resource potential to address the NDP’s cost of living crisis through the creation of good, well-paying jobs while supporting the fight against climate change and enabling real partnerships with First Nations in resource projects,” said Falcon.
A Kevin Falcon-led government would immediately pursue the following initiatives:
- Massive investment in clean power projects, transmission, and electrification: The NDP’s abandonment of clean power projects and self-sufficiency in renewable energy has made B.C. reliant on power imports, despite the incredible potential for clean power to electrify the economy right here in British Columbia. BC United will explore opportunities for major new electricity generation, electrification, and transmission projects to enable natural resource development, including fast-tracking much-needed electricity transmission to B.C.’s North Coast.
- Accelerate project reviews and permitting: After seven years of the NDP, delays in project reviews, permitting and assessments are worse than ever, while Kevin Falcon took just three years to reduce red tape by 42 percent under a previous BC Liberal government. BC United will adopt outcome-based performance measures; eliminate duplication in regulatory oversight; demand consistent assessment processes with the federal government to deliver timely permitting; and collaborate with First Nations to identify provincially important projects and provide clarity on decision-making criteria and supports needed to expedite permitting reviews and authorizations.
- Create an Indigenous loan guarantee program to enable participation in natural resource projects: Under the NDP, access to capital is a barrier for First Nations to participate in the low-carbon natural resource projects needed by the world. A BC United government will establish a loan guarantee program, like the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, to create opportunities for First Nations to participate as genuine financial equity partners.
- Cancel carbon tax increases: Building on BC United’s axing of the NDP’s planned tripling of carbon taxes, we’ll also ensure that current rates for B.C.’s natural resource producers are competitive. For example, B.C.’s mining sector has the lowest emissions globally, yet pays the highest carbon tax in the world. We’ll ensure B.C.’s resource sector is not paying more than our peers. If a future federal government scraps the federal carbon tax, we’ll also eliminate it here in B.C.
- Aggressively market B.C.’s low-carbon economy to help reduce global GHG emissions: BC United will position and aggressively market B.C. as a leading provider of sustainably-produced LNG, critical metals and minerals necessary for a world transitioning to a clean future and, a dynamic, clean technology sector.
Today’s announcement builds on major policy commitments in recent months to address the NDP’s cost of living crisis, scrap the NDP’s destructive so-called CleanBC Plan and focus on real climate results while providing more jobs, higher incomes and lower taxes. These include:
- Going all-in on LNG: BC United will go all-in on B.C. LNG, displacing reliance on thermal coal abroad, reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and improving B.C.’s economy. This includes immediate approval of Phase 2 of LNG Canada’s Kitimat facility and continued work with the Nisga’a Nation to secure their LNG certificate. We’ll also work with the Haisla Nation to advance their Cedar LNG project.
- Prioritize private sector innovation: BC United will prioritize areas like carbon capture utilization and storage and the electrification of the LNG sector.
- Invest in climate-resilient infrastructure: BC United will invest in climate-resilient infrastructure to not only prepare for the impacts of climate change but also create jobs and economic growth, including investing in resilient reservoirs, durable dykes and other key infrastructure.
For more information about BC United’s Resource Prosperity Plan, see the backgrounder here.