It is the day Christy Clark has been waiting for. But it didn’t go down exactly how she had dreamed.
Clark has pushed for a major LNG facility in British Columbia since 2011 and is now celebrating on the sidelines, having lost her job as premier last year.
“We all worked so hard and who cares who gets the credit,” said Clark. “I have never seen a great leader or a great politician say at the end of their career that they regret not getting credit for something. Great leaders and great politicians say I got something great done and they know they got it done.”
WATCH: ‘Today is the best day of my entire professional life:’ Christy Clark on LNG deal
Clark sat down on Tuesday with Global News anchor Sophie Lui to discuss the $40 billion LNG Canada investment that could bring in an estimated $23 billion in revenues to B.C. over the next 40 years. Clark praised the B.C. NDP today for not walking away from the industry and for delivering the final investment decisions she tried to deliver for years.
“Today is the best day of my entire professional life. I woke up this morning to see if the announcement was going to be finalized; I just can’t think of anything I have done professionally that has made me more satisfied,” Clark said.
“The best thing that they did is that they (B.C. NDP) didn’t try to stop it. Because the worst day for me was waking up the morning after the government changed, and my first thought was I worked six-and-a-half years on this LNG thing and it wasn’t going to happen.”
One of the challenges Clark faced was that the prices of liquefied natural gas dropped, and in 2015 and 2016 the prices were one third of what they are now. The former B.C, premier says if the B.C. Liberals had kept hold of power following the 2017 election, they would have sweetened the deal for LNG companies, just like the NDP did.
“If I was still in government, we would have also sweetened the deal at the end and we were planning for that,” said Clark. “They stuck with the plan and good on them. I would say a lot of their supporters will be mad at them. It was going to happen. But only if the current government didn’t stand in the way. And they didn’t.”
WATCH HERE: Christy Clark’s LNG pitch
In March, the B.C. government announced it was redoing the fiscal framework for the liquefied natural gas industry in an attempt to secure a final investment decision from LNG Canada.
The province still needs to put in place rules that would provide a PST exemption on construction costs of an LNG facility. The government is still grappling with whether that will be done through legislation or regulation.
The government has projected that would be a $6-billion rebate for LNG Canada, compared to the framework designed by the previous provincial government.
WATCH HERE: Shell delays final Kitimat LNG investment
When asked about the 2017 election and if delivering a major LNG project before the vote would have changed the outcome, Clark said she doesn’t think so.
“The election was about a whole bunch of other things,” said Clark. “It couldn’t have happened two years ago because the international market wasn’t there two years ago. Today is not spoiled about any regret for me. For the rest of my life, I will be very proud of this.”
WATCH HERE: Christy Clark still banking on LNG
“I really think this is a day that is above partisan politics. This is not about did I do it? Did the NDP do it? Did the Feds do it? It is about the thousands and thousands of people who are going to be working.”
But even so, it didn’t stop Clark from getting political. Near the end of the interview, Clark was asked about whether the financial commitment from LNG Canada would send a message that B.C. was open to international investment. She said it was a good step, but not a slam dunk.
WATCH: Why couldn’t the BC Liberals get the LNG deal done?
“I would caution because it remains to be seen. The Trans Mountain fight has put a real chill on business. It has sent a message that you can’t do business here,” said Clark. “Next steps that both the provincial and federal government make are going to be really important.”