The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.

With Good Stewardship, LNG Can Be a Social Good

Projects create opportunities, so long as they benefit Canadian workers.

By Lionel Railton 28 Oct 2016 |

Lionel Railton is Canadian director of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

The Government of Canada’s decision to move forward with the Pacific Northwest LNG project is a commendable one, not only because of its economic potential, but also the social good it can provide to ordinary Canadians. Liquefied natural gas projects can create huge opportunities for Canadians, so long as they benefit hardworking Canadians, support the local economy, and protect our natural environment.

The B.C. government projects that the Pacific Northwest LNG project could generate more than 18,000 jobs. It estimates that, when combined, the total demand expected for B.C. LNG projects could produce tens of thousands of jobs. These jobs provide good paycheques, secure employment, and experience for the workers that fill them.

Canada is fortunate to have the skilled workforce to construct, operate and manage these projects. Through training programs, coordinated by the provinces, labour organizations and First Nations communities, the available pool of skilled tradespeople has grown substantially over the last decade. We have Canadians eager to work if only the jobs were available.

The decision to move ahead with the Pacific Northwest LNG project could not have come at a better time for Canadian workers. In the last two years an estimated 100,000 oil and gas workers have lost their jobs. These workers are increasingly worried there is no relief for them and that they have become permanent collateral damage. LNG projects will provide the relief that these Canadian workers need.

LNG projects also produce revenues that contribute directly to financing the social programs that help Canadian communities grow and prosper. Taxes and royalties collected from these projects can help pay down government debt and offset the costs of healthcare and education. Additionally, they can be used to support the growth of renewable energy alternatives. Alberta’s climate change strategy provides an example for how revenues from the oil and gas sector can be reinvested in renewable energy.

Understandably there are concerns about the environmental impact of these LNG projects. The extraction and transport of natural gas does impact the environment, but it is not as negative as critics claim it to be. One recent study by a coalition of environmental organizations shows that Canada is on the way to achieving the targets set by the Paris Agreement, but that further actions need to be layered on existing provincial commitments. In the context of that study’s conclusions, new pipelines would not measurably add to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions under existing economic and policy conditions.

Other analyses by the U.N. Deep Decarbonization Project, the Trottier Energy Futures Project, and the C.D. Howe Institute demonstrate that global greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced through the phasing out of coal as an energy source, and that natural gas can be used to ease this process.

LNG projects have the potential to be a social good, so long as they are governed by good leadership and stewardship. The intense review process involved in their approval is one way that these projects are held to high safety and environmental standards. Decisions that recognize the long-term benefits for society, and thoroughly weight the costs, also ensure these projects will have a positive impact. The federal government’s decision to move ahead with this project shows their commitment to Canada’s economy and environment, and the balanced approach necessary to invest in both.

The approval of LNG, through projects like Pacific Northwest LNG, is one of many stepping stones towards building a sustainable energy sector, creating good jobs and growing an economy that works for all Canadians.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free


The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Coverage Would You Like to See More of This Year?

Take this week's poll