Editorial: Projects should employ local

The two looming projects near Terrace B.C. will test again the commitment to aiming as many dollars as possible to local enterprises.

It’s something never written down but very much in the backs of the minds of politicians and business people when it comes to contracts, primarily for construction and infrastructure, led by the public sector.

And that’s the position that when there are contracts for a specific project in a specific area, all things being equal, as many of the dollars as possible should go to local enterprises.

A sign board at the official opening of the Kitimat-Stikine regional district’s Forceman Ridge landfill and associated works indicated as much by stating that $14.4 million of that project’s $17.5 million budget went to Terrace and Kitimat businesses.

And now, with two more major public sector projects looming, that concept is going to be tested again.

The first is the $18.4 million extensive renovation of Northwest Community College’s trades building at its campus here.

The second, with preliminary cost estimates of more than $150 million, is B.C. Hydro’s Terrace to Kitimat power line replacement project.

To be sure, much of the above will be spent on towers and conductor wire which obviously cannot be made locally.

But with both projects there will be opportunity for local businesses to participate in contract bidding.

And in both circumstances, a rising tide should float as many local boats as possible.