VANCOUVER - B.C. is moving ahead with plans to build what is expected to be the tallest wood building in North America and possibly the world.

The proposed 10-storey Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George will become a test case for creating a value-added forest products industry around tall wood building construction methods that would differ radically from the way traditional mid-rise and even highrise buildings are constructed.

Jobs Minister Pat Bell said this week that within 30 days, the province will seek qualified firms to design and construct the building out of engineered wood beam products instead of traditional concrete and steel beams. The province has already received 34 expressions of interest.

The wood building would be the tallest in B.C., ``likely North America and possibly the world,'' Bell said.

The plan comes at the same time a new study produced for the Wood Enterprise Coalition by Vancouver architect Michael Green and several others suggests engineered wood skyscrapers of up to 30 storeys can be safely built using this new wood technology.

In an interview, Green said he expects that within five years, buildings between 10 and 20 storeys will be built in B.C. using any one of a number of laminated engineered wood products. But for that to happen, the province needs to change its building code. The code now limits wood buildings to six storeys, but that is based on wood-frame construction methods using studs and wood cladding.

Green's study says laminated wood beams and slabs - which can range up to 1.2 metres (four feet) wide, 18 centimetres (seven inches) thick and 19.5 metres (64 feet) long - have similar properties to concrete and steel and can be used to replace them in many cases. The resulting building would be lighter, comparable in cost and far more environmentally friendly than steel and concrete.

The buildings would be more fire-resistant than wood-frame buildings, meeting the same requirements as concrete and steel buildings.

``There are a lot of people and nations starting to look at these ideas. But right now our report is the first to show how to do it in a predominantly wood way at the scale we are talking about,'' Green said. ``It is an extremely unique moment where Canada is really leading the world in this conversation.''

Green said he was motivated to propose tall wood buildings as a way to tackle climate change. Wood acts as a carbon sink, locking in carbon dioxide as long as it doesn't rot or burn.

``Concrete production is responsible for five to eight per cent of the world's carbon emissions. Steel production eats up four per cent of the world's energy.''

Manufacturing engineered wood products does require some energy, but the carbon footprint is less than other forms of production.

``We have been looking at solutions to make our buildings perform better, and that is important. But we really haven't stepped back and said, `Are we building our buildings with the right material in the first place?' ''

He said the cost of building a 12-storey wood building in Vancouver would be the same as for concrete, at about $283 per square foot. A 20-storey wood tower would cost marginally more than concrete, at $300 per square foot versus $294.


Hi all,

I just received this post below from Bob and thought it was very interesting. Hope you enjoy. Cheers

Dean Birks -


Searching through a microscope rather than a wide angle lens may be more of a threat to anyone's financial success in the next few years.  I have watched the Prince George world of real estate for the past 20 years to see the majority reacting to small changes rather than watching the big ones.  People who do well and will always do well, hold tight in times of uncertainty.  Many are presently looking past headlines to another opportunity.

Each day, extra light is shining on Prince George and area as the place to invest now and for the future.  We have the hub where a combination of human resources, finances, raw materials and transportation will bring more of the world to our door step.  Over the next at least two years, the cost of financing will not only be affordable but also predictable.  Budgets and prospectus' will be realistic.  Growth and prosperity will be overall good.  There will be idiots who try the get rich quick schemes as usual. Equity with reliable cash flow, rather than unsustainable growth will be there to pick up the pieces.  

As opportunities spawn ideas (some good and some not so good), many will push the envelope to see how far they can go. My belief is a standard must be kept if we are to come out the other end as winners.  The standard I have come to understand in the past 42 years in Central/Northern BC is Real Estate.  But more so, Organized Real Estate.  The standard many try to compare themselves to.  The standard many try to circumvent.  But mostly, the standard most come to rely on.

I learned how much the public wants and needs the information and security provided by Organized Real Estate. The Multiple Listing Service. The standard by which lenders, appraisers, government assesment authorities and of course the buyers and sellers use to make decisions about the most valuable asset they will probably own.  Land.   Real Estate.  

I also experienced the resentment to the cost of this service and protection. I next learned how much the lending institutions rely on: "what is the value of this property if it had to be sold today". What does the current market say about this property? They go to the MLS information to see how the subject property compares to the "real story". The current MLS market.

Contrary to popular belief, Real Estate Sales Representatives do not drive prices up or down. They simply provide an avenue for a buyer and seller to make a deal on a property.  (Buyers and sellers determine price/value.)  In doing that the realtor has undergone licensing, education and training requirements, all designed for the public's protection and confidence.  All actions allowed to assist the public are overseen by managers. auditors and government authorities.  Realtors educate buyers and sellers and help them negotiate a "mutually beneficial transaction".  For that they expect and deserve a fee.

The most amazing part of this system is that it is all negotiable.  Ordered by law.  Up or down.  You can find agents who belong to the Multiple Listing Service system and contract services both as buyer and sellers from next to nothing to as much as you are willing to pay.  However, in this day and age, you get what you pay for and more when you deal with standard.  People who will take your call at any time of the day or night to help you make a deal on some real estate.  An investment that will more likely benefit you a lot more than the fee the realtor receives benefits them.  "do-it-yourselfers"  can satisfy themselves as to their results.

One might think this is a plug for Realtors.  Not as much as a wake up to where our standard comes from.  I help all sorts of people improve their lives through the financing of the value of Real Estate... and the standard it requires.  

Oh by the way...   Mortgage Rates    are only going to go down.  Variable if you can, short term is excellent too.  However, long term is secure for those who can't sleep at night.  I welcome any questions you may have.

once again, thanks

Bob Quinlan 
office: 250-564-9161 
cell: 250-565-8444 
fax: 250-564-9132 
#2 - 1810 Third Ave. 
Prince George, BC V2M 1G4


Here is some more great news for Central BC. 
Dean Birks 
Royal Lepage Prince George

BC Logo

Energy and Mines

Ministry of Energy and Mines, Economy Sector, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region, Kootenay Rockies Region, Northern B.C. Region, Provincewide, Thompson / Okanagan Region, Vancouver Coast & Mountains Region, Vancouver Island / Coast Region

Endako Mine Expansion Means More Jobs for B.C.

Economy Friday, March 9, 2012 12:45 PM

FRASER LAKE - Endako Mine has been issued a Mines Act permit amendment which will increase production, create approximately 160 new jobs and sustain a total of 400 employees in the north, announced Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman.

Endako is a molybdenum mine owned by Thompson Creek Mining Ltd., and Sojitz Corporation. The mine is located 100 km west of Prince George near Fraser Lake. It has been in continuous production since 1965.

The expansion of the mine will amalgamate the three pits. It will also result in a major upgrade to the mine's 42-year-old mill and will create a new facility that will nearly double the current processing capacity to 55,000 tonnes. The expansion's projected capital cost is approximately $600 million.

Mining reserves are sufficient to continue operations until approximately 2028.

The expansion will generate approximately $90 - $100 million annually in economic activity such as direct wages, purchases and taxes.

The Endako expansion has been able to provide an employment opportunity for the 36 displaced mill workers who were negatively affected by the recent fire and explosion which closed the Babine Forest Products mill. The workers will help to start up the new mill, and these jobs may lead to permanent employment.

Mineral exploration and mining is an important economic driver for British Columbia. The production value of this province's mining industry was approximately $8.6 billion in 2011.

Under the BC Jobs Plan, the Province has expanded four mines. The goal is to open eight new and expand a total of nine mines in British Columbia by 2015.


Premier Christy Clark -

"Our government's number-one priority is jobs and keeping our economy growing. I am particularly pleased to see Endako working with the community that was so devastated by the fire at the Babine Mill. My sincere congratulations to those employees and their families who were displaced, but now have a new opportunity and work. This is a great example of neighbours helping neighbours in a time of need."

Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines -

"The expansion of the Endako mine will continue to provide well-paying, stable jobs in this area. The B.C. Government is committed to working with industry to ensure that mining jobs are available in communities across the province. Tax revenues from mines provide much-needed funding for essential infrastructure and social programs that benefit all British Columbians."

Kevin Loughrey, chairman and CEO Thompson Creek Metals -

"Our employees, contractors, and suppliers have performed an outstanding job meeting the many challenges necessary to reach operational and commercial production so quickly. We continue to make significant progress and ramp up production, and we anticipate full production will be achieved in the second quarter of 2012. Once at full production, the Endako mine is expected to increase molybdenum production from approximately 10 million pounds per year to approximately 16 million pounds per year (100 per cent basis)."

John Rustad, MLA Nechako Lakes -

"Endako Mine has been a rock of support for Fraser Lake and the surrounding area as it's one of the longest-operating mines in Canada. I'm very happy to see this will extend the mine's life by another 16 years, and that it will continue to be a cornerstone of the economy in this area of the province."

Quick Facts:

  • Today, B.C.'s mines are profitable, tax revenues are rising and direct mining jobs are increasing.
  • To ensure future prosperity, the Province is stepping up its permitting approval processes to ensure industry is in a position to achieve growth, while continuing to maintain high health, safety and environmental standards.
  • As well, the Province helps to ensure a profitable mining sector through the provision of variety of industry incentives:
  • Mining Exploration Tax Credit provides a 20 per cent refundable tax credit for companies.
  • Mining Flow Through Share Tax Credit provides a non-refundable 20 per cent tax credit. This incentive makes the cost of eligible exploration the second-lowest in the country.
  • New Mine Allowance provides the equivalent of a 133.3 per cent deduction of capital costs for mines that commence or expand production before Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Molybdenum is a type of coal ore which is used in the production of steel, particularly stainless- and construction-grade steel.


Sandra Steilo
Media Relations
Ministry of Energy and Mines


I thought some of you would like some more good news and the positive things happening in and around central BC. Here is Pat Bell's Top 10.


Hi All

This is another milestone in my Top 10 series with this being the 450th edition! The first edition came out March 28, 2002 almost exactly 10 years ago and the good news is my 2 finger typing method has improved considerably over that time!

As many of you will know we released our ‘Jobs Strategy last September, a piece of work I am very proud of. It’s been a while since I talked about the Jobs Strategy in my Top 10 so I wanted to focus this edition an what I think will become the cornerstone piece of Government policy over the next 10 years. In this edition you’ll see that the strategy is already delivering results in our region with much more to come. I cannot think of a better place to live in the world than northern BC in the coming decade and I’m proud to be part of this community. I hope you enjoy #450 and please feel free to pass on to your family and friends. Have a great week! 

Pat Bell MLA for Prince George North

1)      Forestry 

The value of British Columbia’s softwood lumber exports to China jumped 60% in 2011, surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time.  Since 2003, lumber exports have risen by more than 1,500 per cent. With lumber export sales of 4.28 billion board feet as of November, exports to China have already surpassed the province’s 2008 goal of exporting four billion board feet in 2011.The government is also investing $550,000 over 3 years to help the B.C. silviculture industry develop new human resource strategies to meet the challenges of a changing labour market. 

2) Mining

There will be $1.3 billion invested at Mt. Milligan where construction is underway on a copper-gold mine and now employs 800 people.  Mt. Milligan located 150 km northwest of Prince George will provide 300 permanent jobs in full production.We are also seeing the $443 million Red Chris copper-gold-silver mine project move forward, which is expected to produce 30,000 tonnes per day, have a lifespan of 25 years and create 250 jobs. There is also the proposed $2.5 billion expansion of the aluminum smelter at the Rio Tinto Alcan mine, which would increase production by 400,000 tonnes per year. And there is the proposed 470 km, $1.4 billion natural gas pipeline between Summit Lake and Kitimat. There has been a total of $17.8 billion invested in the mining industry. 

3) Natural Gas

One part of the Province’s Natural Gas Strategy is the Infrastructure Royalty Credit Program, which is providing up to $120 million in credits to encourage oil and gas development. It has led to 115 new pipeline projects and 84 new road-based ventures since 2004. We anticipate that the development of a Liquefied Natural Gas sector, and our three new proposed LNG plants by 2020, will generate over $20 billion in new investments, as many as 9,000 new construction jobs, and about 800 new long-term jobs. As well, the industry will support thousands of potential spin-off jobs and over $1 billion a year in additional revenues.

4) Agrifoods In Prince George

A new state of the art aquaponic system is being put to the test. Aquaponics is a technique that cultivates plants in water instead of soil, and raises aquatic animals within the same sustainable environment as the plants. Live tilapia fish provide nutrients for plants, and plants filter water for the fish in the symbiotic system. Northern Aquaponics Ltd. began operations last spring and is now yielding its first produce crops. 

5) Tourism Gaining

The Edge: A Five Year Strategy for Tourism in B.C. calls for stronger marketing in areas that are most likely to attract people to B.C. These areas include: touring vacations, city experiences, skiing, snowboarding, Aboriginal tourism, outdoor adventure/ecotourism, and meetings and conventions.In 2010, the tourism sector employed 127,000 British Columbians, generated over $13.4 billion in revenue for tourism-related businesses and contributed over $1.2 billion to provincial government revenues. A key priority over the next five years will be attracting more tourists from countries with large emerging middle classes.  

6) Transportation 

Canada’s Pacific Gateway is a streamlined transportation network that directly links Asia and North America. We are investing in infrastructure to maintain seamless road, sea, and rail connections to connect our markets to the world. The Port of Prince Rupert is Canada’s leading-edge port – leading in strategies for trade growth, maritime safety, environmental stewardship and community partnership. As the entry point to the Northwest Transportation Corridor, the Port supports an estimated 1,300 direct jobs and $80 million in wages annually. When direct, indirect and induced job creation is considered, the Port and the Corridor support a total of 2,720 person-years of employment and $150 million in wages.  

7) International Education

At the University of Northern BC, international students make up just over 9 per cent of total enrollment. Last year, UNBC had 396 international students from 43 different countries, including China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, the U.S. and Scandinavia. This is three times more than a decade ago. The College of New Caledonia had 286 international students, with 132 of them coming from China. International students also join CNC from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, India and Korea.School District #57 currently hosts 90 international students. With a strong program that has been in place for a number of years, the School District has hosted students from diverse international countries. In 2011-2012, 50 students from Columbia will be attending schools throughout the district.

8) Technology

The Carbon Offset Aggregation Cooperative (COAC ) in Prince George has the only carbon protocol methodology in the world. This methodology is used for calculating, reporting and selling carbon offsets that are produced through the reduction of diesel consumption in heavy equipment.The COAC provides a Fuel Efficiency and Carbon Reduction Initiative for owners of heavy equipment and long or short haul trucks to reduce diesel consumption, and by doing so create, aggregate and sell carbon offsets. 

9) Growth in the Asia pacific

The BC Jobs Plan builds on the province increasing trade with Asia by focusing on opening and expanding markets for B.C. goals in key markets such as China, Japan, South Korea and India and making smart investments in the infrastructure that will help get B.C. goods to market. For the first time ever, Asian exports now exceed exports to the United States. Our neighbors across the Pacific are experiencing exponential growth and we recognize this as an opportunity to grow economically as well. The Japanese enterprise, Mitsubishi Corporation, has entered into a multi-billion dollar agreement with North American energy producer, Encana Corporation, to develop over 400,000 acres of undeveloped natural gas lands in Cutbank Ridge in northeast B.C. This project represents B.C.’s vision for the long-term development of our natural gas resources in safe, energy-efficient, sustainable ways. 

10) Mackenzie 

In an exciting and innovative new project, BC Hydro and Conifex Timber Inc. are teaming up to generate clean, renewable bio energy in Mackenzie. The new agreement will create 80 construction jobs and 20 permanent jobs in the region. It will also strengthen the local forest industry and add new clean energy to B.C.’s electricity mix.Conifex’s two-mill complex in Mackenzie employs 200 people and ships a majority of its product to China. The company hopes to expand production and employment in the coming year.   

Bell, Pat

Above copy courtesy of:

Dean Birks -

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