Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks about LNG Canada's $40 billion investment
Thank you Andy. Good morning everyone. Thank you for joining us. Let me begin by acknowledging that we stand on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people and the territory of the Musqueam.
Similar to our great news on trade yesterday, today is a good day. It’s a good day for Canada; it’s a good day for Canadian workers, about 10,000 of them in fact. Now, before I became prime minister I gave a speech on Canada’s energy industry. It was 2013 and during that speech I said one of the Government of Canada’s most important jobs is to open up overseas markets for Canadian resources. We are and always have been a trading nation. Millions of middle class jobs depend on it.
However, we are forced to sell the vast majority of our gas and oil resources to a single market – the United States. There is clear, and growing, demand from Asia for our natural resources. Our neighbours on the other side of the Pacific are seeking new sources of clean energy and expertise in the field: two things we have an abundance of! We also have a competitive advantage through the CPTPP, and the time has come for us to capitalize on that advantage.
It’s also true that we can’t build energy projects like we did in the old days where the environment and the economy were seen as opposing forces. Those days are gone. What people didn’t realize then and what some people still don’t understand today is that in the 21st Century we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a strong economy. They must go together and today is proof of that. It is proof that our country’s rich natural resources and talented workforce can make Canada an attractive place for investors to do business and support a clean growth economy.
Today’s announcement by LNG Canada represents the single largest private sector investment in the history of Canada.
Now, I like that sentence so much I’m going to say it again. The single largest private sector investment in the history of Canada.
And that’s not just in energy projects or in resources, in Canada. It shows what’s possible when you collaborate and consult with indigenous and local communities, when you coordinate all orders of government and when people insist on economic, environmental and socially responsible development of our natural resources. A $40 billion project, LNG Canada will mean 10,000 jobs at the height of construction, tens of billions of indirect government revenues and hundreds of millions of dollars in construction contracts for First Nations businesses. And I’d like to congratulate the Haisla Nation and other first nations for all their leadership and hard work to ensure that this project became a reality.
LNG Canada will have the lowest carbon intensity of any large-scale LNG facility in the world. We know LNG produces about half the amount of carbon emissions as coal. So by sending Canadian LNG to markets that are today powered by coal, we will help those jurisdictions transition away from this energy source. I want to specifically applaud my friend John, Premier Horgan, for committing to ensure that the development of LNG in BC is consistent with our national climate plan and with the province’s own climate goals. We are united in our commitment to cutting pollution, just as John and I are united on so many things for the future of British Columbia and our country. Just as we are united in acting to seize the generational opportunity to develop a new sector like LNG that stands to benefit all Canadians, whether they live in Kitimat, in Calgary or in Halifax.
That said, as a government, we have to create favourable conditions to attract projects that will create good, well-paying jobs. These conditions don’t just happen by chance. We need to make smart, strategic long-term investments in our infrastructures, in our technologies and, above all, in Canadians. That is what we are doing, and that is what we will continue to do.
In my meetings with Shell’s senior leaders in China, in Davos, and in New York we talked about competitiveness. We talked about getting this project done right for communities, for indigenous peoples, for the environment, for investors and for Canadians. With every meeting I walked away more and more confident in what Canada had to offer this group of joint-venture partners -- five companies from five different countries around the world. And with every meeting I walked away more and more confident in what this project had to offer Canada.
But meetings and good relationships aren’t quite enough to secure the largest private sector investment in our country’s history; our government took decisive action to get this project across the finish line. We’re committing $275 million for initiatives that will ensure that this projects sets the world standard in things such as infrastructure, marine protection, and enhancing environmental performance. We are also committed to ensuring trade barriers don’t get in the way of this once-in-a-generation investment. Let’s be clear. Shell and its partners did not make this $40 billion investment in Canada as a last resort, it was a choice. It was a vote of confidence, a vote of confidence in a country that recognizes the need to develop our energy in a way that truly takes the environment into account and that works in meaningful partnership with indigenous communities.
And I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. There will come a day when traditional energy sources will give way to clean energy sources, just as LNG is now replacing coal. And as we move forward with this transition, we have two critical responsibilities, the first, to leave a cleaner planet and a healthier environment for our children and grandchildren, and the second, to do everything we can to prepare our people, our communities and our economy for what lies ahead. Here in Canada that is exactly what we are doing. Companies in Canada are investing in new technologies to make our oil and gas production cleaner and Canadian companies are leading the way in developing clean energy innovations, like the next generation biofuels and advanced batteries for electric cars. All of these examples both create jobs and protect the environment, which brings me back to my original point. Canada is a country that understands that environmental leadership and economic growth are inseparable. It is an approach that LNG Canada embodies and I thank Shell and all the joint venture partners for their leadership.
And my friends, it is an approach that helped attract, again, the single largest private sector investment in Canada in the history of our country.
Thank you, everyone.