The AltaGas propane export terminal is well under construction at its Ridley Island site. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View) The AltaGas propane export terminal is well under construction at its Ridley Island site and is one of the examples in the State of the North report of employment growth. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Northwest economy remains uncertain

The Northern Development Initiative Trust released their State of the North report

The Northern Development Initiative Trust released their State of the North report on Jan. 9, providing a glimpse of northern B.C.’s economic outlook.

In the short-term, the report found that the regional economy remains uncertain. This uncertainty is due to mine closures, reductions in capacity at mills and projects that have been delayed or cancelled. Employment levels, however, are stable but the report expects slow employment growth for the northwest region.

“The delay in a final investment decision for LNG projects in Kitimat and the cancellation in July 2017 of the Pacific Northwest LNG facility planned for Port Edward suggests that declines in construction employment in the region and slowing of employment growth in support sectors may be expected going forward,” the report states.

Employment in the northwest is related to forestry, mining, tourism and operations through the Port of Prince Rupert. While the decline or delay of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry on the coast may have brought a decline in construction employment, the report also found that construction has grown with the aluminum smelter expansion in Kitimat and site prep for potential LNG facilities.

In Prince Rupert, the AltaGas propane export terminal project on Ridley Island may also counter the decline in employment at least for the time being.

READ MORE: Port delivers $1 billion injection into Northern B.C.

“The data is clear that the decline in commodity prices in 2014 had a significant impact on the regional economy. The good news is that the data also shows that economic conditions in the region have stabilized more recently, and major project activity across the region has created opportunities for new investment,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust in the press release.

The Northwest region boasts more businesses that have more than 20 employees than the rest of the province. Most of these businesses are in mining, forestry, manufacturing, wood products and construction. Meanwhile, businesses in agriculture, fishing and hunting and retail have decreased.

Median wages in the Northwest are higher than the living wage of $18.17 for those working in the service sector, yet those working in accommodation, food service and retail are below the living wage. Registered nurses and home support workers are paid higher than other regions in northern B.C. with a median wage at $43.98.

READ MORE: Home sales in Terrace hold steady, values drop slightly

Housing prices have bounced around in communities across the Northwest. The report found that median prices for homes rose slightly by 3.3 per cent in Terrace from 2016 to 2017, while Kitimat saw a 44.1 per cent drop.

Tax revenue in the Northwest is dependent on commercial and industrial properties. The report found that 65 per cent per cent of the municipal tax revenue in the region is from commercial and industrial properties, with 32 per cent from residential. In Terrace, commerical and industrial accounted for 52 per cent, and residential 46 per cent.

The full report on the other northern regions can be read online.

With files from Brendan Kyle Jure



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Donation bin break-in ends in arrests

Police Briefs | Sept. 24

Vopak expects 240 liquid gas-by-rail cars per day

North Coast residents can learn more about the Ridley Island-based project at the open houses

Bantam Kermodes defeat Seawolves in pre-season action

The Terrace bantam rep Kermodes won an exhibition game against Prince Rupert… Continue reading

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in Prince Prince, Terrace, etc.

Mobile complaint team coming to B.C.’s northwest

Ombudsperson’s office wants to hear from wronged residents

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Two B.C. police departments won’t use new roadside saliva test to detect pot

The Dräger DrugTest 5000 is designed to find THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Trudeau looks to restart Canada’s UN charm offensive in New York City

Freeland says the question of job retraining in the 21st century — and the uncertainty that surrounds it — is the federal government’s central preoccupation.

Calgary mayor seeks person who leaked details of closed-door Olympic meeting

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he will ask the city’s integrity commissioner to investigate a leak of details from an in-camera council meeting.

B.C. MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Most Read