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Don Whiteley

Recent Posts on BCBusiness

Feb 25, 2014
B.C.'s Shortsighted LNG tax

Industry reaction to the Clark government’s proposed LNG tax that would climb from 1.5 per cent at the start of production to seven per cent once capital costs have been recovered was predictable. No cheering, lots of grousing. As Finance Minister Mike DeJong correctly pointed out, no business is ever...

Feb 7, 2014
Canada Capitulates on FATCA Agreement

Succumbing to pressure from the U.S., the Harper government announced on February 5 that it has signed an agreement with the States that will apply American tax law in Canada and expose an estimated one million Canadians with U.S. connections to the long arm of the Internal Revenue Service. The agreement...

Dec 20, 2013
Northern Gateway: Now the PR War Begins

As expected, the National Energy Board’s environmental review panel gave a conditional green light to Enbridge Inc.’s $6.5-billion crude oil pipeline designed to carry 525,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta to a shipping terminal in Kitimat. The federal government now has six months to decide whether or...

Dec 9, 2013
Taseko Questions Mine Approval Process

The never-ending saga that is Taseko Mines’ attempt to get a permit to build the New Prosperity project in west central B.C. now threatens to undermine the credibility of the federal government’s environmental review process. Taseko has applied for a judicial review of a second recommendation to reject the project...

Nov 27, 2013
Tax Avoidance: We’re All Guilty

Tax avoidance, and its darker cousin tax evasion, have been popular news items in the last few months as countries everywhere (including Canada and the U.S.) try to smoke out rich fat cats and their hidden accounts in places like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. And make no mistake—tax avoidance (which...

Nov 22, 2013
And the Alternative to Pipelines Is?

B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan have grown rich over the last several decades exporting both oil and natural gas to a rapacious U.S. market, but a couple of recent reports suggest the gravy train era is over. An International Energy Agency study predicts that the shale oil and gas explosion in...

Oct 30, 2013
LNG Dreams Brought to Earth

If there ever was doubt that B.C.’s LNG dream is in trouble, the Canada West Foundation just erased it all with a research report entitled “Managing Expectations: Assessing the Potential of B.C.’s Liquid Natural Gas Industry.” Combine the conclusions of this report with growing unease among a number of First Nations...

Oct 18, 2013
U.S. River Treaty Negotiations: Preliminary Round

The Province of B.C. and U.S. regulatory authorities have now staked out their preliminary bargaining positions over the potential renewal of the 1964 Columbia River Treaty, and it has the promise of being a very entertaining barroom brawl. This complex treaty has provided for joint management of a series of dams...

Aug 22, 2013
BC Hydro Caves in to Uncle Sam

BC Hydro’s decision to offer California a $750 million out-of-court settlement over allegations of price gouging during the 2000-2001 power crisis is just the latest evidence that Canada desperately needs to diversify its trading relationships away from the U.S. Hydro, through its export subsidiary Powerex Corp., did nothing wrong when it...

Jul 15, 2013
Fixing Hydro: End the Cash Cow Era

Poor Bill Bennett; the newly minted energy minister is immediately handed a lose-lose and lose some more file that will defy any simple solution. Whether it’s surprise cost overruns on future capital projects like the Northwest Transmission line, or billions in future costs placed conveniently in deferred accounts (meaning it’s some...

Jun 17, 2013
Misguided Attempts to Derail Coal Exports

We seem to embrace public hysteria now when it comes to any discussion of what this country is prepared to export, or even just trans-ship, through its major seaports. Take coal, for example. Port Metro Vancouver has already approved expansion of existing coal shipment facilities at Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver...

May 31, 2013
Saying Yes to Resource Development in B.C.

Now that the dust has settled in the wake of Premier Christy Clark’s stunning election comeback, it will be useful to look at what it means for the future of natural resource development in the province. For the last two or three years–and the wonky polling numbers supported this–there has been...

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