VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 25 (UPI) -- Projections about job growth in the liquefied natural gas sector of British Columbia are overly optimistic, a Canadian opposition leader said.
A report released this week from the British Columbia Natural Gas Workforce Strategy Committee said construction of LNG facilities in the province could require a workforce of 60,000 when it peaks in the next three years.
British Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is on a west coast tour to discuss the country's energy strategy. The Canadian government says it has the opportunity to diversify its economy by sending more oil and natural gas to Asian markets from west coast ports.
Robin Austin, a provincial leader from the opposition New Democratic Party, said he questioned the report's findings, which anticipates five LNG plants in its scenario.
"We're not certain we're going to get a single plant, let alone three, four or five," he was quoted by The Vancouver Sun as saying Wednesday. "So I think 60,000 jobs seems to be like a high projection."
West coast leaders have expressed concern about the environmental impact of natural resource development.
The LNG report said the natural gas sector in British Columbia employed approximately 13,000 people last year.