A gaggle of gas guests for balanced budget babble

Liberals welcomed LNG bigwigs and lobbyists to June budget speech

Finance Minister Mike de Jong.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong (B.C. Gov’t).

Whenever it trots out the budget speech, the government likes to invite close friends and interest groups to be there as it lays out the spending and taxing plan for the coming year.

I obtained, via Freedom of Information, a copy of the guest list for Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s June 27 presentation of the post-election budget update. That document is at the bottom of this post.

Invitees to the Legislature included the usual suspects from business (Jock Finlayson, Business Council of B.C.; John Winter, B.C. Chamber of Commerce) and labour (Jim Sinclair, B.C. Federation of Labour, Lynn Bueckert, B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Association and Debra McPherson, B.C. Nurses Union).

Of the nearly 100 people listed, almost a third of are involved in liquefied natural gas.

Premier Christy Clark has staked her political future on building an LNG industry in British Columbia. Voices of reason, like Rafe Mair, say she is too optimistic and scoff at her claims that B.C.-style LNG will be “green” when it is so energy-intensive to frack, move and cool the product. The guest list only reinforced Clark’s eggs-in-one-basket approach.

Travis Anderson, Altagas project manager; Paula Barrett, Quicksilver/Discovery LNG, project advisor; Jared Kuehl, deputy head, government relations, Shell LNG Canada (32F); Sara McCullough, government relations director, Spectra/Pacific Northern Gas; David Molinski, regulatory and external affairs, Chevron Kitimat LNG (30F); Scott Pinhey, opportunity manager, Imperial Exxon Mobil; Gary Weilinger, vice-president, Spectra Energy (26F); Richard Alexander, president, Altagas; Elio Artuso, senior business representative, Apache/Kitimat LNG; Wilf Barke, Progress Energy; Doug Bloom, president, Canadian LNG, Spectra/Pacific Northern Gas; Patrick Blough, vice-president, gas commercialization, Chevron Kitimat LNG; Doug Dreisinger, vice-president energy marketing, Nexen/Aurora LNG; Markus Emisch, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers; Rick Gateman, president, TransCanada/Coastal Gaslink Pipeline; Tessa Gill, head of stakeholder relations, Progress/Pacific Northwest; Trevor Halford, senior advisor, TransCanada/Coastal Gaslink Pipeline; David Keane, vice-president, BG Group/Prince Rupert LNG; Greg Kist, president, Pacific Northwest LNG; Art MacNichol, vice-president finance, Pacific Northwest LNG; Lorraine Mitchelmore, president, Shell/LNG Canada; Philippe Reicher, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association; Krey Stirland, commercial director, Shell LNG Canada; Glen Tatham, managing director, LNG Partners/Douglas Channel LNG; Neil Theobald, general manager, Chevron Kitimat LNG; Daniel Topolinsky, executive vice-president, Pacific Northwest LNG; Dan Woznow, vice-president, Altagas; Geoff Morrison of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

The list also included Antonio Nardi and Jim Belsheim of the coal and potash-shipping Neptune Terminals, Paul Kariya, Clean Energy B.C. and community newspaper tycoon-cum-Kitimat oil refinery dreamer David Black.

Remember those who were donors to the June 7 Cabinet Naming ceremony at Canada Place? Those folks also got guest list privileges for the budget speech.

B.C. Maritime Employers’ Association (Terry Bertram); B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association (Jack Davidson); Port Metro Vancouver (Robin Silvester, Marko Dekovic); Independent Contractors and Business Association (Phil Hochstein); Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (Mark von Schellwitz); Microsoft Canada (Barb Berg); B.C. Construction Association (Manley McLachlan); Leading Brands (Ralph McRae); B.C. Real Estate Association (Cameron Muir); B.C. Hotel Association (Cailey Murphy);  B.C. Trucking Association (Louise Yako); Domtar (Bonny Skene); Eminata Group (Randy Cox); Private Forest Landowners Association of B.C. (Rod Bealing); B.C. Interactive  (Lance Davis); Richard Prokopanko, corporate affairs director, Rio Tinto Alcan.

Friends of the BC Liberal party were fewer and further between than at the Cabinet Naming Ceremony. This time around the list included ex-Finance Minister Colin Hansen (representing his wife’s promotional products company, Image Group), Brad Bennett (McIntosh Properties) and BC Liberal president Sharon White.

June 27, 2013 Budget Speech Guest List

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