The mood in our area seems upbeat – the economic outlook for our area has improved substantially recently.
Investors are flocking to our area and creating new jobs in light of recent, past and future projects that our government has initiated.
The container port in Prince Rupert bringing trade links with China was the first major project initiated.
The electrification of Hwy 37, now in progress, is the second major project.
Smaller but just as important were the runway expansion at the Terrace-Kitimat regional airport and the ongoing development of the industrial park near the airport.
Also in the works is a feasibility study to determine the feasibility of building a railroad to the Yukon federal territory following Hwy37. A railroad would lower the operating costs of the many mining exploration projects in the region.
The Hwy37 electrification has sparked investments in the natural resources sector especially mining as a consistent power source would lower operating costs.
There are 11 mine sites either operating or in higher levels of development. Many would not be possible without the additional power available from the new transmission line.
As well, construction on the Long Lake hydro electric project 25km outside of Stewart is underway. When completed in the summer of 2013, this hydroelectric project will generate 137 GWh of power annually. It will flow through a new 10km 138kV transmission line connecting to the BC Hydro grid under an electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro.
Independent power producers will help meet the our power needs.
And now Shell Canada and TransCanada have a plan.
TransCanada wants to build a natural gas pipeline from near Dawson Creek to Kitimat, where an estimated $40 billion of proposed construction to support LNG exports are under active consideration.
Shell Canada Limited, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Mitsubishi Corporation, and PetroChina Company Limited will buy the gas from the Shell pipeline.
Rio Tinto Alcan is undertaking a $2.5 billion expansion of its aluminum smelting operations in Kitimat that will be complete by 2013.
This includes the completion of the second tunnel from the Nechako river basin to the Kemano power generating facility.
I wonder though – if all of this would have transpired had the NDP been in power for the last two elections.
I also wonder if this investment will continue if the NDP do get back into power. Generally, a major change in government will cause investors to hesitate.
Can the BC Liberal party win the next election in spite of what the polls are saying?
They could if you consider a few examples of this happening in the past. Premier Bill Bennett turned around terrible polls and won the election in 1983.
Gordon Campbell turned around very unpopular poll ratings and won the 2005 election.
In Alberta – Premier Alison Redford won in 2012 in spite of poor poll ratings.
In Quebec – the Liberal Party came up just a few seats short of defeating the Parti Quebecois in 2012 in spite of the pollster’s predictions.
The BC Liberal Party is gaining ground and has a long way to go, however they still have a very good chance of winning the next election. Considering the fact that most British Columbians consider the state of the economy to be the most important issue when voting in the next election, I can clearly state that the BC Liberal Party has clearly excelled on this issue — especially in northern British Columbia.
The BC Liberal party clearly came to the rescue in our area.
We have no elected official in our area that is capable of addressing these important economic issues, so the BC Liberal party elected officials from other areas volunteered their time.
You have seen great successes in the last five years, due to their efforts. So why would they do it?
They really do care about the economic future of your area and they actually do enjoy working with the people in your area.