The mood in our area seems upbeat lately,
For good reason, 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 and new 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 expansion of the runway at the Terrace-Kitimat regional airport and the ongoing development of the new industrial park near the airport.
Also, in the works is a feasibility study to determine the feasibility of building a railroad between our area and the Yukon federal territory following hwy 37. A railroad would lower the operating costs of the numerous mining exploration projects in the region.
The electrification of Hwy 37 has sparked new investments in the natural resources sector especially mining. A consistent power source in this mineral rich region lowers the operating costs of the numerous mining exploration projects in the region. Currently there are eleven mine sites either operating or in higher levels of development in the northwest region. Many of them would not be possible without the additional power available in the region from the new transmission line.
As well, construction on the Long Lake Hydro Electric Project located 25km outside of Stewart is underway. When completed in the summer of 2013, this hydroelectric project will be generating 137 GWh of power annually. The power will flow through a new 10km 138kV transmission line, which will connect to the BC Hydro grid under an electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro.
Independent power producers like this will help to meet the future power needs of British Columbians.
Shell Canada and TransCanada have a $4-billion plan to build a natural gas pipeline originating near Dawson Creek, to carry gas across the province to Kitimat, where an estimated $40 billion of proposed construction to support LNG exports are under active consideration. This proposed construction will be a joint effort between Shell Canada Limited, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Mitsubishi Corporation, and PetroChina Company Limited.
As well, two other LNG plants have already been granted export permits by the National Energy Board these are Apache Canada and the joint venture between the Haisla First Nation and Houston-based LNG Partners.
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.
As well, a proposal to build an oil refinery near Kitimat is in the works as well as talk of building wood pellet exporting facilities at both the port of Kitimat and the port of Prince Rupert.
There are other projects under consideration; these could not be listed here for lack of room.
I wonder though – if all of this would have transpired had the NDP had 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.
Forty Three percent of British Columbians are still undecided according to the latest Angus-Reid poll; this is a substantial number and something worth considering.
The B.C. 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 in spite what the pollsters are saying.
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.
I will explain why this is true.
We have no elected official in our area that is capable of addressing these important economic issues, so 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.
They did not have to do this – the BC Liberal party never told them to do this – so why would they do it?
After talking to them personally, they really do care about the economic future of your area and they actually do enjoy working with the people in your area. This is the reason why they do it.