Paying $185,000 for each job

Occasionally, the BC Government issues press releases touting success of its natural gas Infrastructure Royalty Credit Program. Corporate media lacks resources and commitment to examine the claims so they do no more than edit and republish texts provided by government.

This is one example:

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We’ve seen these announcements before. But, we will never see a press release saying BC’s fossil fuel industry benefited from credits worth $902 million in fiscal year 2018 and $4.2 billion in the past five years.

Yet, that is revealed by careful reading of footnotes to the province’s audited financial statements.

In today’s announcement, government claimed that $120 million in credits for 20 projects will create more than 1,740 jobs. That would be a payback — albeit a costly one — if it were true.

But, it is not.

According to BC Stats, the entire oil and gas extraction industry provided an annual average of 4.880 jobs in the five years 2013-2017, a number that is 1/5 of 1% of employment in all industries.

Casual readers of press releases remain uninformed about the scale of subsidies directed at fossil fuel producers. That is the exact purpose of the Ministry of Energy Mines & Petroleum Resources. Announcements are crafted to deceive by omission.

Deception was honed by BC Liberals and is continued by the NDP. As a result of its record, the official opposition is now mute on the subject.


With $4.2 billion in subsidies through tax expenditures in the past five years, each of the jobs in oil and gas extraction cost BC taxpayers $185,000.

A similar amount spent on reducing dependence on fossil fuels would have been more effective in creating jobs and protecting the environment. Before the Horgan Government was captured by vested interest groups, they knew this statement was true.

This was a promise made to voters in 2017, but quickly forgotten when an NDP government was formed:


Gas Royalties and Credits

Categories: Environment, Natural Gas

5 replies »

  1. Hoped that you saw this announcement Norm. I remember Coleman gleefully announcing these $120M gifts frequently. All the while hiding the recipients so we could actually verify if any of the projects actually got completed, and whether or not the jobs purported to be created involved any BC resident taxpayers/businesses or materials. Many of the jobs claimed to be created are done by out of province residents who can work cheaper and avoid taxation that BC companies cannot.

    The free enterprisers in the industry as they fervently claim to be, would lose reputation in business circles if the public knew only how much royalty money went back to gas producers. Not one of which has head offices located in BC, Many don’t even maintain field offices in BC. While gas production in BC has doubled, revenues to gov’t have fallen to record lows and in fact if you went by royalties you wouldn’t realize that BC ranks second in Canada producing about ~25% of the total, along with an ever increasing amount of high value liquids like propane and butane. You would think we have almost ceased production.


    • They (business people)wouldn’t lose reputation in most business circles, they’d most likely get a pat on the back. This is how oil works with the exception of Norway to name one of a few.
      I seriously don’t have a clue what the NDP stands for anymore.


  2. Thanks for this info. I sent it to John and my MLA Dean telling them:”We know. What have you to say?” Omission is soooo important. “What are you leaving out ? “
    You have to tell people to be civil? What have we become?


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