Canadian Manufacturing

LNG exports should be top priority for Canada, Prentice says

CIBC head said Canada must push ahead or risk having buyers seek supplies from competitors



CALGARY—CIBC executive and former Conservative cabinet minister Jim Prentice says there’s nothing more urgent right now for Canada than to get into the liquefied natural gas export game.

Prentice says Canada must push ahead with a much greater sense of urgency or risk having Asian buyers seek supplies from competitors such as Australia and the United States.

A number of multi-billion dollar projects are in the works to chill natural gas from northeastern British Columbia into a liquid state and ship it across the Pacific to energy-hungry countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.

But Prentice says there are a number of outstanding issues that need to be worked out, such as a royalty regime that would promote the establishment of an LNG industry and help ensure its long-term success.

Other challenges include filling labour shortages, managing environmental risks brought on by increased West Coast tanker traffic, supplying the LNG facilities with electricity and solving contract standoffs between buyers and sellers over the price of the gas.

During his time in government, Prentice held the portfolios of environment, industry and Indian affairs and northern development.

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