Province hands $5M to Geosciences BC

An oil and gas rig in Northern B.C. File photo

A 10-year-old industry-led organization — billed as generating earth science information in partnership with First Nations, the resource sector, universities, governments and communities — has been given another $5 million by the BC government.

Despite the government claim that energy companies are lined up at the door to invest in this province, Geoscience BC was set up in 2005 to attract more investment, including LNG exploration and development.

Since then, the independent organization has been given nearly $52 million in taxpayer dollars to encourage more exploration and “informed land-use decisions,” money that Energy Minister Bill Bennett insists is well-spent.

“Geoscience BC doesn’t attract business in and of itself,” said Bennett.

“What (it) does as an independent organization is go out and gather geological information useful to those companies around the word who are contemplating where they are going to invest in mining and where they are going to invest in oil and gas.”

Mr. Bennett went on to congratulate the non-profit organization, for “its outstanding contribution to the economic health of BC.”

“They have generated over $100 million worth in exploration in British Columbia,” he said.

“That represents hundreds of jobs. It also represents potential mine development and oil and gas development in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Mr. Bennett also noted this province is now second only to Ontario for this type of resource development among the Canadian provinces.

“Companies are looking for safe places to invest their money,” he said.

“We think BC is one of the safest,most prospective places for mining investment anywhere in the world,” he said.