I am disappointed that the Standard did not see fit to report on an action of Christy Clark’s BC Liberal government which has the potential of irremediably altering the economic and social fabric of the northwest.
I refer, of course, to the Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] signed 24 July in Vancouver by the governments of British Columbia and China “on natural gas sector cooperation”, from which a few choice articles stand out:
iv) Encouraging the participation of British Columbia and China-based enterprises in each other’s natural gas sectors, in activities such as investment, exploration, production, and infrastructure development;
v) Promoting cooperation and understanding in related areas of interest, such areas as labour market demand and supply, technical services, equipment manufacturing and science and technology research and development.
a) The Participants will, in accordance with their respective applicable laws and regulations, and respecting the priority of hiring domestic labour whenever possible, work together with the appropriate authorities to secure and facilitate the entry of foreign workers.
So the final tally of the Liberal’s “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” strategy will see Chinese “participation” in investment, exploration, production, infrastructure development, R&D, Tech services, equipment manufacturing and ‘wherever possible, the entry of foreign workers’ in B.C.’s Natural Gas sector.
Was there anything else Christy might have forgotten to sign away? Our breathing rights, perhaps? Or perhaps the establishment of Special Economic Zones?
They’re very popular in China just now, where there are over 50 state-level economic and technological development zones with the purpose of encouraging business.
Tax incentives are offered to attract investors and rules and regulations in existence elsewhere in China are largely absent within the confines of a zone.
How far is Christy prepared to go to accommodate our new economic “partners”?