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B.C. listens in to speech from the throne

first_imgFinance Minister Mike de Jong has already promised a fourth consecutive balanced budget, and the Premier is pledging to stick to her government’s key promises, including two major impact ones in this region — LNG development and the Site C dam construction.Both should lead to some heated legislative exchanges in the weeks ahead, but there’s another issue with huge implications for this region, this province and this country, that is rapidly moving toward a resolution deadline, and in need of some serious attention.We refer to the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the Americans which expired last Oct. 12 and is currently in a holding pattern thanks to a one year standstill clause which prevents the U.S. from launching any trade action against Canadian producers for that period.This is another issue the Premier raised last week when meeting with federal officials in Ottawa, and here’s another edited version of her CTV News interview comments following those talks….Advertisement The original deal was signed in 2006, and renewed in 2012, but now the Canadian dollar is in the tank and there are also promising U.S. housing starts.While that’s created new demands for B.C. products, it has also attracted the attention of U.S. producers and they now appear to be uninterested in renewing the previous agreement, and are pushing instead for some changes that are not necessarily viewed favorably on this side of the border. VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. legislature is back in business following yesterday’s Throne Speech with the potential for plenty of rhetorical fireworks.Already looming large is last week’s announcement Royal Dutch Shell would delay the Final Investment Decision on the LNG Canada project in Kitimat until the end of this year.Christy Clark’s promises on LNG pledged new jobs, and billions in government revenue are again expected to be opposition targets, especially given the Trudeau government’s new greenhouse gas assessment condition for oil and gas industry mega-projects, including pipelines.- Advertisement -The B.C. Premier was in Ottawa last week seeking answers to a number of economic policy questions, and following her talks with federal officials had this to say in a CTV news interview.As for her greenhouse gas environmental critics, the Premier again urged them to start thinking globally about the climate change issue.The Premier also addressed another major economic challenge facing the province and the country — extension or renegotiation of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the Americans.Advertisementlast_img read more