Pat Bell’s Top 10 for Oct 9, 2010

Friday was not a great day for our forest industry as the US Softwood Lumber Coalition launched another challenge targeting BC’s Industry. It seems like every time we sign off on a deal they just can’t live with it. They have very old and inefficient mills in much of the US and can’t compete with the high quality mills here in BC. In my view we should be working together to expand the use of wood into China, India and into nontraditional uses in North America.

Other than that pretty good numbers here in BC so let’s stay positive!

Have a great week! Pat Bell -

1.   My Colleague Steve Thomson (Minister of Agriculture and Lands) is off to China along the Federal Agriculture Minister, Alberta’s Agriculture Minister and representatives from the BC Cattlemen’s Association (including local ranchers Mark Grafton and Roland Bauman) to try and get greater access to the Chinese market. I have had our Forestry folks working with the Agriculture team to prepare for the trip and while it would be unfair to expect significant sales on the first trip I do believe that we’ll see very positive results for our beef industry over time.

2.   The unemployment rate for last month in Prince George fell to 8.5 % last month. Down from 8.7% recorded in August and  3.2% lower than it had been in September of 2009 when the number of unemployed was 11.7%.

3.   Over the past year the number of people holding down jobs has grown by 6,100 to 48,200 in our region.

4.   Part of the improvement comes from the rebound in the local housing market. Year over year housing starts are up from 73 to 124.

5.   According to Satistics Canada sawmill production in BC is up 33.7% year over year. China leads the way with a 48% year over year increase but even the United States is +16%

6.   During this same period of time Ontario’s production dropped by -1.6%, Quebec grew by +8.3% and Alberta grew by +3.4%

7.   According to BC Stats in July 2010, B.C.'s mean weekly wage was over $836, well above the national average. The average weekly wage has risen by $188 – or 29 per cent – since 2001, when it was $648.

8.   For B.C. youth under 25, the average hourly wage was $13.24 – third highest in Canada.

9.   A British Columbian who earns the average weekly wage of $836 makes over $9,750 more per year today, before taxes, than they would have in 2001, when the average weekly wage was $648.

10.               Those concerned about gang violence in our city should be aware of the Gang Crime Forum  November 1st-6:30-9pm Ramada Hotel. Admission is free. Register at  or in person at City Hall, Service Centre for more information call 250-561-3366



The above email courtesy of: 

Dean Birks 


Royal LePage Prince George 

Phone (Direct): 250-612-1709 

Fax (Private): 1-888-870-4132 


Oh, by the way. I'm never too busy for your referrals! 


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