Rafe-Is 'lying' too strong a word for Clark Libs' LNG fibs

Rafe: Is ‘lying’ too strong a word for Clark Libs’ LNG fibs?

Rafe-Clark's LNG fibs piling up
BC Premier Christy Clark addresses a conference on LNG (Damien Gillis)

I really need your help.

What the devil does one call premier Christy Clark, considering that she seems utterly incapable of telling the truth? Hers is an interesting case because her gross economy with the truth seems designed to get her away from whatever her current difficulty is, onto something different. Whether this amounts to “lying” in the accepted sense of that term, I don’t know.

“Disassembling”? “Fibbing”?

[quote]I would love to see prosperity come to my province…Unfortunately, it is just a dream.[/quote]

All BC’s eggs in LNG basket

Never mind the fact that she has no policy whatsoever with respect to pipelines and tankers – simply lofty sounding words with no meaning whatsoever. Let’s leave that aside for today and move onto something more critical, I think, because she has staked so much of her political life on it. Indeed, she has staked the wellbeing of our province on it.

I refer for you to page B7 of the Vancouver Sun for July 23 and an op-ed by Mark Jaccard, an acknowledged energy expert and Nobel laureate.

When Dr. Jaccard told his guests at an energy conference, during the 2013 provincial election, about the promises premier Clark was making with respect to LNG development in British Columbia, they broke into laughter.

God knows I am no expert on these matters but you will recall that I was laughing at her too.

It turns out that Dr. Jaccard’s audience and I were laughing at the same thing and it had nothing to do with energy science.

BC LNG business case bankrupt

My research was very simple. I read trade journals and as much editorial comment as I could find on the Internet. One thing became very clear and it did not take a brain surgeon to understand it.

For a company to invest billions of dollars In LNG plants, pipelines and tankers, a couple of basic things had to be in place.

First of all, there had to be a supply of product – that one wasn’t a problem, there was an over supply.

Secondly, there had to be the certainty of a market. That there were lots of potential “markets” around was true – the real question was whether or not these markets needed BC, considering their other alternatives. In short, there had to be firm contracts in place from which the markets could not escape. We are no closer to that today than we were during the election.


The third and critical point was the price to be paid for the product. No entrepreneur is going to sink a lot of money into a project unless he knows that he is going to make a profit. That is the nature of capitalism. What seems clear to me – and also true to Dr. Jaccard’s audience – is that there is no potential market BC could depend upon at any price, let alone a certain price.

In determining future BC prosperity from natural gas, one was flying in the dark. I won’t go into the details but please read the article and you’ll see how complicated it is to predict the price of natural gas under the best of circumstances, which these are not.

The China Syndrome

One of the obvious customers for BC is China. I recall saying then that China had a great many options, not the least of which was the largest supply of gas in the world in Russia, along with a huge supply of shale gas within China itself.

One could go on analyzing markets and that’s not my bailiwick – suffice it to say that the questions raised at that time by Dr. Jaccard, his audience and by me, are no closer to being answered now that they were then.

Clark government in denial

None of this has daunted the Clark government in the slightest. They carry on as if LNG plants are going to spring up all over British Columbia and we will be awash in profits.

At this point, one might usefully go back to the election itself. Such was the enthusiasm for Ms. Clark to get elected one might say her statements about LNG were somewhat extravagant. You may recall that at the very beginning, we were told that BC, by 2017, would have all its debts paid and $100 billion in a Prosperity Fund!

Somewhere along the way, after the election was safely behind her, someone must have whispered into Premier Clark’s ear just how much money $100 billion was. It also became evident to the premier that 2017 was rather an optimistic date and that since she didn’t have to worry about an election for another four years, perhaps that might be scaled and the whole question of provincial debt best mumbled away and forgotten.

The point of this exercise is that either British Columbia is going to have a substantial LNG industry or it is not.

The next question of course is that if we are, then when?

The honest approach to this question would be, we simply do not know. A premier and a government being square with the voters would simply say that. They would point out that since “fracking” became all the rage, all bets are off as to the supply of natural gas and, indeed, oil in the world. All assumptions and estimates are now highly questionable.

The changing global energy landscape

There seems to be no question that there is a need for this new supply – but just who needs what and from whom is a huge question, which is nowhere near being settled. Old trading patterns are changing and none of the old truths can any longer be relied upon.

Moreover, there are serious political problems which will enter into the picture. For example, what does the change in world petroleum supply mean to the Middle East and the political relationships of countries with that region? Now that the United States is approaching self-sufficiency, what impact will that have in the geopolitical sense? One might think that this is irrelevant to the other questions I have raised, but not so. The natural rules of the marketplace are always trumped by considerations of world politics.

These are the facts that the public of British Columbia ought to know and understand; these are the facts that responsible, honest political leaders bring to the attention of voters.

To have taken the very best possibilities arising out of this new petroleum situation in the world and paint them as if the inevitable answer was fabulous prosperity for BC is as irresponsible a piece of political chicanery as I, in a long life, have ever seen. Moreover, the child-like deception continues, day after day.

Like every other British Columbian, I would love to see prosperity come to my province. To be able to all live better and to have our social ills dealt with in a more thorough and humane manner is a lovely dream to have. Unfortunately, it is just a dream.

Where does NDP opposition stand?

As of this writing, the NDP leader, John Horgan, has re-shuffled his shadow cabinet with energy split amongst several critics. Since the last election, the NDP have been a great disappointment in their effort to be the loyal opposition. They have not held the government’s feet to the fire – rather, they have been busy infighting and sorting out their internal disorder. Let’s hope that this has now changed.

It is by no means too late. I don’t give a damn whether or not the NDP is socialist or what it might be in its official political philosophy. Those sorts of terms are long out of date and useful only as political rhetoric during an election. Most political parties now are in the center of the road and appealing to people in all walks of life. I do not fear that the NDP would suddenly be nationalizing our businesses or bringing in secret police to enforce their version of humane practices.

What the NDP must present to the people of British Columbia is an honest appraisal of what the issues are and where we stand.

The current Christy Clark government is incapable of telling the truth, if to do so would in any way impair their popularity. One does not expect them to be paragons of political integrity – God knows they’re a long way from that. But on such an important matter as our natural gas industry, the truth is essential if the public is to understand our fiscal future.

The Christy Clark government’s position on LNG is, as Dr. Jaccard and his audience indicated, funny as hell.

Unfortunately, it is also tragic.


About Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at rafeonline.com.

17 thoughts on “Rafe: Is ‘lying’ too strong a word for Clark Libs’ LNG fibs?

  1. Sociopaths rarely tell the truth, it’s one of the characteristics of the condition. Their ability to assess reality is constricted by brain function as you see in Crusty, Harper, Ford, Factsbender and the rest of them…….

  2. Of course premier Photo-op is a liar; she lied to get elected and she continues to lie today. She is a psychopath, hell bent on personal gratification.

    LNG was an electoral scam to get elected and now, with absolutely no knowledge on the subject, is signing deals here and their, furthering the BC Liberals rape of this province.

    “In spring of 1989 – Christy Clark set her goals on winning the Simon Fraser Student Society Presidency.

    Her victory as president was over before it began. The Electoral Standing Committee disqualified her election on the basis that she extensively broke campaign rules – cheated to win – and was subsequently fined by the University as a consequence. Clark refused to pay her fines with Simon Fraser – and this non payment ultimately forced her out as President of the Simon Fraser Student Society.

    Clark did not pay her fines – she adamantly refused and vigorously fought the University’s decision to kick her out as president, threatening to sue the institution over its decision. Clark gave up this line of attack once she realized that the by-election for the position of presidency (that she had been recently removed from) was coming up. She would run again for Simon Fraser Student Society President only this time on her own without her Unity slate colleagues holding her back.
    Once again Christy Clark ran on the same policy format as she had before — to remove the Simon Fraser Student Society and all students at the school from the Canadian Federation of students – hoping once again to take the money saved and install a lobbyist instead.

    Christy Clark was soundly thrashed in the by-election forced to run a clean campaign the second time around – garnering only 43.5% of the vote in a two person race.

    Bitter – Clark left Simon Fraser University – without a degree, the very objective that most of the students she purported to represent were seeking.”

    An evil liar by all accounts, yet she schmoozed to an election win taking only 20% of the vote (50% of the electorate did not vote) in BC.

    Atque per canem, mendax est malum

  3. Whenever I see a photo of Miss Westbank with an LNG sign, I mentally see the same sign with 2 vowels added between the ‘L’ and the ‘N’………’Y’ and ‘I’.

  4. I heard that the california montery shale reserves were downgraded by 96%, making US oil self sufficiency questionable…not to say that makes bc LNG more likely, just an observation on global oil supplies.

  5. This BC Lib government is nothing but an exercise in power politics. Stay in by whatever means necessary even if it damages the province. Just look at how they have mishandled education just because they hate the BCTF.
    They will do whatever to be in power. They don’t seem to care about BC.

  6. Funny no MSM reports on the coal ship on the beach in Prince Rupert,I wonder what the reason is for that…same reason there is no reports on Grieg seafoods wonderfull Skuna bay atlantics dieing by the hundreds in Nootka sound of some liver disease

  7. I was never so disappointed as when the NDP gave away the election.
    While I dissagree with their pro union stance I felt they were the only alternative to a corrupt party and an inept leader.
    Unfortunately the majority of voters believed the constant barrage of negative campaign ads in all levels of the msm.

    Rafe I totally agree with you editorial with perhaps one exception.
    the following statement regarding the NDP , ” they have been busy infighting and sorting out their internal disorder” should perhaps read “eternal disorder”.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. The Common Denominators

    Gwyn Morgan, Chuck Strahl, Stockwell Day, Mark Marrisen, John Paul Fraser, Ken Boessenkool and myriad others all have strong financial ties to Enbridge Pipelines Northern Gateway and equally strong political ties to the harper government and all have infiltrated BC politics and orchestrated most of the actions and decisions of christy clark.

    They all know that we know what they are about,and none of them could care less about us, or British Columbia.

    1. Your absolutely right Ron. Im thoroughly disgusted by people like this, absolutely horrible that they would do this to such a beautiful Province. They should be in jail I’m being serious. And we haven’t even mentioned the IPP’s. I’m so angry.

  9. LNG will clean the air and remove troublesome debt. LNG will also cure baldness and clean tough stains. It dices, it slices!

  10. It is odd that the “narrative” (aka: string of BC Libcon lies) carries forth, despite the widely known facts.

    Jaccard and Palmer and other mainstream commentators have been chiming in with Petronas et al, and their HUGE play for more and more concessions. As I have long said, the more doubt sowed now the more BC will giveaway. Which is why doubt is being expressed in the MSM as as well as endless requests for more tax breaks and concessions for the industry. Its a bit of a pincer approach.

    Lets be clear there is trillions on the line, Petronas alone already has not only invested in the LNG play, but has also partnered with China, Japan and India with contracts for as much as 65% of the LNG offtake. They have arranged for the largest debt financing known in this Country and as we speak, have 30 more new rigs in the BC fracking fields proving out their reserves.

    This means that market pricing, supply and demand, and other free market fairy tales are no longer relevant. The play is all about pillaging us for next to free gas, locked down for a generation or more.

    CNOOC and PETRONAS, will be the main players when all is said and done, and their will be a couple minor window dressing LNG outfits to mostly distract and distort what is actually happening.

    We have yet to lean the extent to which CNOOC will dominate, however Clark just signed an MOU yesterday with them (China National Energy Board) And Petronas has already recovered their original 5.2 billion investment to get in the door on BC LNG by partnering with Japan, India and China. They have already secured the world’s cheapest royalties and incentives on the drilling side, and the proposed tax regimes are a paltry “up to” 7% at its peak after capital costs are recouped. But its still not enough.

    There is a reason Petronas has been lauded as Asia’s most profitable company. How the Coleman, Clark and Harper ever thought handing over our gas to these people was going to bring the people of BC/Canada “prosperity” will be a legend for future generations to ponder as they are cleaning up the mess and wallowing in debt …

    Petronas, 15 years younger than BC Hydro which at one time held BC Gas Assets and the Kinder Morgan pipeline, provides Malaysia with near half the operating revenue the Country requires. That leaves little room for anything but concessions from BC, no prosperity fund, no erased debt, broken Climate Change targets, no lower taxes and an environmental disaster that will last for generations…… all “powered up” by Tzep and co and their Tides funded social license machine.

    LNG will happen, but it wont bring prosperity for BC, and not even jobs as witnessed with TFWs and other special arrangements already agreed to, but it will bring a gas fueled race to the bottom if we continue under the Coleman, Clark and Harper model of fleecing Canadian for foreign interests.

  11. Wake up people, this woman is destroying British Columbia with her gang of thieves, they have already sold off every thing of value to their friends and now are reduced to selling off “surplus Assets” and raising every fee, while giving away our natural resources to their campaign contributors and letting the forests burn because the owner of the mars water bomber didn’t contribute any money to the Liberal party. now in her empty head LNG will save the day? it would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. You really have to wonder with another three years in these crooks mandate, what will be left of BC when the next election occurs?

Comments are closed.