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October 27, 2017 7:24 pm

Job Growth Not Benefitting the North: Think Tank

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 @ 5:50 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Not all communities in B.C. are benefitting from the so-called ‘jobs boom.’

That from left-leaning think tank the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives who have just published a new article on the issue.

It notes though B.C. led the country with over 73,000 new jobs last year, most of that job growth – 83 per cent – happened in Metro Vancouver.

“And when you add the larger area of the Fraser Valley, Squamish/Whistler, and the Sunshine Coast you see that 94 per cent of B.C.’s job growth has been concentrated there,” says senior economist Iglika Ivanova. “So, while the Lower Mainland has been booming, the communities in the Interior and the North are losing jobs.”

She says just under 1 per cent of all jobs in Prince George and the Cariboo were lost last year (she says the remaining job growth took place on Vancouver Island).

Ivanova says the regional disparities are proof the province’s jobs plan, first proposed in 2011, isn’t working.


“It was supposed to revitalize the northern Interior of the province with resource development. The government came up with LNG and mining and as we see in these numbers, it really hasn’t worked,” she says. “I think one of the big mistakes the B.C. government made was they completely neglected forestry.”

Ivanova says the government has tried to mask northern job losses by going ahead with the Site C project.

“It’s a way to create jobs – a very expensive way to create jobs – and the job creation that would come from Site C is very short-term. There will be jobs during the construction phase and then after that very minimal jobs to operate the facilities.”

So, what would she propose to boost jobs in the region?

“We would recommend re-investing in forestry in a big way…Other investments I think would help include investments in renewable electricity generation – so solar, wind and geothermal energy. Those are investments that can be made in different parts of the province.”



Re-invest in Forestry? Good grief. There are a tonne of jobs out there in the forest sector, the problem is, no one wants to leave the comfort of their parent’s basement to take one. A lot of the recent grads (for the past 20+ years) seem to have the expectation that they deserve an office job.

    PS. Get off my lawn! :)

    Truer words have not been spoken, the generation nowadays wants to start at the executive level with a corner office, a six figure salary, 9 to 5 M-F with 6 weeks vacation to start. Who can blame them for thinking this though, it all starts in school where nobody fails, everyone gets a ribbon, nobody keeps score… Not like when I went to school, always -40 with 4ft of snow and uphill both ways, and I had to repeat grade 7.

      It doesn’t/didn’t start in the schools….it starts at home with the parents.. the parents have 4 yrs or so with the kids before they are sent to school… so they are home during the hugest learning curve..before starting school.. so who put the thoughts of that what you speak of in their heads… the parents…

      There is a great interview on,one about the problem with kids born after 1983-84 online.. I think it describes the situation to a T.. if I can find the link I will post it :)

      Simon Sinek is the one in the interview.. do a search and look for
      millennial paradox. Very interesting.. and for a person who trains our new employees I agree with a huge part of what he says…

    Or, maybe they just don’t want to work in the forestry industry and they don’t have to because they are working in a different field that they enjoy? It’s even possible that they moved to the Lower Mainland to work and live because they like it more than the north.

    Job openings in the resource industry isn’t necessarily an indicator of people not wanting to work. It may simply be an indicator of a smaller labour pool and/or people choosing other opportunities instead.

Oh no, this can’t possibly be true as it contradicts what the unimpeachable CFIB says about Northern BC’s prospects. LOL

Mines are reopening, the north will have a boost in jobs this quarter.

    Coal mines are reopening. Very limited job prospects there. All those mines have gone through ups and downs very recently and the prospects for coal fired anything are looking very limited going forward.

      400 jobs is not trivial to those small towns in the north. I know two of the people hired back personally, has been a rough year for them without work. Your skill set is fairly limited in a mining career

      All I’m saying Slinky is that its tough to get all fired up and move a family into those small towns, buy a house and get set for a prosperous future in the coal industry. Coal is in massive decline with Governments mandating cleaner burning fuel and heating sources. I’ve been through the boom and bust before and I hate to see it happen to anyone.

I think free enterprise is the answer. The policy of monopoly capitalism especially in forestry has been disastrous. We should all be going by the slogan free enterprise and not free trade if we want to have jobs in the future. Free trade is anti free enterprise and pro monopoly capitalism and that hurts a national economy.

One thing I find curious is at the PG airport they have this model of what the airport expansion was to entail. The model is in a corner tucked away in the arrival lounge at the airport. It shows huge warehouses and complexes that cover the entire area between the airport and LC Gunn Park from highway 16 to highway 97.

Some of these complexes are labeled things like high energy manufacturing and such…. what on earth are they talking about? High energy manufacturing? Is that like some kind of computer chip manufacturing? Using the airport as a logistics hub for some kind of computer components manufacturing and distribution.

If we ever saw a tenth of what they envisioned it would be a huge boon to PG. I doubt we will ever see any of it happen, but one never fully knows I guess….

Best prospects for future growth in this region IMO… refining crude oil into products for shipment by rail using the area from Summit Lake North and upgrading the rail infrastructure with redundancies that avoid water bodies.

The canceling of Northern Gateway and the tanker ban on crude oil on the North Coast was a gift to this region. The biggest job enabling policy the region has seen in decades. It all but ensures if any oil is to be exported it first has to be refined and if this happens and it has to be shipped by rail then it enables a big investment into upgrading our rail infrastructure.

I think the key is to require the refining take place in BC if we are to allow the shipments off shore via BC (ie a lighter product less environmentally dangerous). As well to ensure that no refining takes place south of Summit Lake in the Fraser water shed.

Then availability to energy, population, resources, and services would heavily favor the Summit lake north idea and benefit hugely Prince George just to the South.

We need politicians to push the agenda though. Maybe one of them should call up Mr Black and ask him how his plans for a refinery are shaping up?

    If any refining was done under your suggestion, it would would be done at the source. Ie; Peace River Country, or Alberta. Bringing it into the interior to refine, and reship makes no sense.

    Mr Black has given up on his pipe dream of a refinery at Kitimat, or Rupert. That whole concept was nothing but unadulterated BS.

      But they already send crude oil long distances to get refined. Why not the BC interior?

I like the idea of Free Enterprise, as long as our tax dollars are not used for your Free Enterprise. The present system of the taxpayer giving handouts all over the place has to end.

Job growth not happening now, just wait until our globetrotting dear leader brings in the carbon tax. Did you folks know that the carbon tax we now pay is also taxed. Same will happen with dear leaders tax. Tax the tax tax. Hey someone has to pay for dear leaders chase for a discredited peace prize.

Just in the central and northern part of the Province, we have lost 1800 forest manufacturing jobs not including the spin off lose which Price Water House states is 3to 1. Most of this is the result of changes to the Forest Act in 2001/2002.Timber Licence’s are no longer tied to the community or operation and the result is clear. The Canfor’s and West Frasers and others can shut the Mills trade,sell or sit on the Timber licence like money in the bank which is happening in Fort Nelson,Tolko closed without any review and they also keep the Timber. Its wrong and there is no accountability. Had these changes been in place when Golden Mills closed the effort to keep the Mill open would not have happened and the Community would have been devastated.

tments I think would help include investments in renewable electricity generation – so solar, wind and geothermal energy. Those are investments that can be made in different parts of the province. How true ! It would also keep the money local . The way things are done now only a very small amount of the money generated by polluting the pg air shed stays local or even in canada . This has to be the very height of inefficiency. Even the money for electricity used here doesn’t stay here . And rate payers are forced to subsidize mines , gas plants and who ever crusty deems worth of getting money from our pockets . We may not be the dumbest country in the world but we are definitely in the running .

Not that Palopu and I work for the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), but we, and a couple others, have been stating the jobs and economy disparity up here in the southern, central and northern BC interior.

“I am with Palopu on this one, where is all this economic growth in the Central Interior, North Central, and North East regions of BC? I see nothing now, and nothing in the future… nice that the lower mainland is doing so well though.”

I personally have always thought Site C was the biggest “make work project ever” undertaken in BC’s history. When there is no demand for the additional hydro electricity, what else could that project be?

Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2016 @ 12:53 PM by BeingHuman with a score of 0

“This government make work project” (Site C) is so big and costly, it will negatively affect our provincial credit rating for years to come…”

Not to worry, BC Liberal Party shrill slinky, and a couple of others on here, will try to minimize the CCPA’s findings, after all with an election coming, any reality based economy and jobs bad news needs a positive BC Liberal spin!

    The electricity from site C will be used to power the new LNG plant that will be built to provide fuel for the 3 new ferries the BC government had commissioned to be built in Poland.

The new mines will create very few jobs for the north..As these are all fly-in camps workers can and do live in the south or other provinces where they count as employed in those areas.

    I would think most mines would more than likely rather employ local people if they have the skills because it would be a lot cheaper than having to supply flights for all their employees. Take Mt. Milligan, it has employed lots of local people from Fort St. James, PG and MacKenzie.

      And there are a few other prospects that really need for certain groups to get out of the way for approval. A few more precious metal mines up here wouldn’t hurt anybody one bit.

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