Latest Top 10 good news

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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