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October 27, 2017 7:04 pm

Challenges Lie Ahead for Resource Sector

Thursday, February 2, 2017 @ 12:54 PM

Ben Stewart addresses  Resource Forum – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C.- “There are huge opportunities if we continue to work together” says Ben Stewart, BC’s Special Representative  in Asia.

“Why aren’t we  manufacturing  for Ikea?”  asked Stewart  as he presented the challenges and opportunities  that lie ahead for a variety of   resource sectors to delegates  at the BC Natural Resources Forum..

Stewart  says there needs to be  more flexibility in forestry product development.

As for mining,  Stewart says mining companies too often  got off  on the wrong foot with  communities and First Nations and it’s a long road  back to get  things back on track.   Mining can  help develop transportation links and infrastructure  says Stewart,   as he pointed to the development of the Northwest Transmission Line which brought  electricity to  an area  in the northwest  of B.C.

Natural gas has its challenges too says Stewart,   not the least of  which  is a lack of cooperation to  rationalize the cost sharing.  “Asia needs LNG, there is no doubt about it” says Stewart as he  described the  Chinese desire  to  reduce emissions in an effort to clear the  air.

But Natural Resources are not just the  typical   thoughts of mining, forestry and energy.  There are other  sectors which  are  growing  throughout BC and  across the country.  One  of them is Aboriginal Tourism.  “Visitors are looking for new, authentic experiences” says Keith Henry, CEO of Aboriginal Tourism  Canada.   There are already 30 thousand people  employed in this sector across the country, and Henry   says the plan  hopes to have  more than 40 thousand  employed  by 2021.

Henry says  this  tourism sector has  grown by 20%  and is outpacing  the growth  of  ‘regular’ tourism.  In 2015,  Aboriginal tourism  pumped $1.4  billion dollars into the  national economy.

Then there’s ‘ocean farming’.   With  the world’s population growing,  and the demand for food increasing,   fish farms are another resource that  should be  considered.  B.C.  fish farms  exported $1.1 billion dollars in  product in 2015. While fish farming  is a controversial  industry,  the Ahousaht First Nation says it has  has benefited from  working with Cermaq, a Japanese owned  fish farm operator.


Hang in there folks, its already been 16 years, but in another 20 years the BC Liberals will have our economy and jobs BOOMING!

    IT will be too late by then…because in another 20 I wont give a rats azz!!

    I have no idea what your definition of “booming” is but you have had your head up your butt the last 20 years or so it looks pretty bad from that angle..

    Christy is going to have to eat a lot of beans over the next 20 years to deliver her LNG promise.

“Why aren’t we manufacturing for Ikea?” Because they are rapidly moving away from using fossil fuel for their energy procurement world wide ? Natural resources ? Our greatest aboundance of natural resources are wind , solar , wave and geothermal energies . You will never be able to use them up or make them scarce . Long after all the others are used up and gone they will be here for us for ever . Why not at least discuss them ? Because you can’t ship them off to Asia or anywhere else .

    Do not despair! We are moving steadily ahead with the renewables! Vested interests in the fossil fuel industry have a lot of power. Eventually we will be green and clean. We will not be burning some fossil fuels anymore as they are too valuable to simply be incinerated rather than being used to make plastics and tens of thousands of other products. There will always be a need for crude oil. It will take a few decades to get there, but it will happen

      I read a report the other day that said they figure their will be no further growth in fossil fuels by 2020. The report figures by 2020 electric cars will be cheaper to operate than fossil fuel based transportation and this will be the tipping point.

“Why aren’t we manufacturing for Ikea?”

We used to …. I believe Aim Hi made some small items such s towel racks, etc.

    We still do as far as I know. L&M lumber makes smaller dimensional lumber for things like beds and such and I think Ikea is one of their main customers, or at least use to be. Its why they didn’t even have a hiccup during the housing crash of 2008.

We should not export and raw product. We can hire at home and produce these items. Yes I know the companies are owned by other countries. Should never have come to this. Foreign investors should not be able to own more than 25% of a Canadian raw resources. Including Farm land. Put the homeless to work.

    Corporations make higher profits paying offshore workers squat for the end products than they would if the products were produced here at home. Guess who will win that battle?

      Those who finance corporations. For awhile.

Every Premier’s Natural Resources Forum is like the one before, here is a 2014 opinion article about that year’s Forum, this from the Prince George Citizen:

“I attended The Premier’s Natural Resources Forum last week along with a couple hundred other people from across North America. I have attended this event the last few years and it gets bigger every time. There was a lot of excitement this year as it looks like a significant amount of proposed natural resource development will actually go ahead. Some people are calling this the natural resources renaissance and I couldn’t agree more… LNG is probably the sector with the most potential…” then the opinion article really goes off the rails from there.

Here is the link to that article, please give it a read. For the BC Liberals, it seems every Premier’s Natural Resource Forum is deja vu groundhogs day!

ht tp://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/opinion/columnists/natural-resource-renaissance-on-the-way-1.1038524

A large component of the conference had speakers from the tech and renewable energy sector . Ataloss would have loved futurist Nicholas Badminton, and BH would have loved the renewable energy representatives! Kudos to the organizers for having varying views on their panel presentations!

Shame it wasn’t televised . I would have loved to have seen it . Is the following not business ? Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad announced rhe Province is making a further $2.1 million dollars available to First Nations for clean energy projects. The money will be priori zed to those in remote areas and will be contingent on matching funds being secured from the Federal Government. ” amazing typos eh ? That aside , I hope it will help Lower Post BC . There’s nothin between them and the Yukon .

Canada first!

Fish farms are a dead concept. Fukushima has killed the Pacific ocean and contaminated anything that comes out of it now.


I think any major growth in BC will come from the high tech sector. This is where I agree with the Green party… they probably have the most realistic look at future economic development for PG. Building a high tech logistics park up at the airport for industry that needs huge amounts of reliable electricity (and Site C will feed right into this) is where our growth will come from.

The greens are right though that that will never happen with the kind of broadband infrastructure we currently have here in PG (the big choke point on development at this point).

    Major growth can only come about sustainably if there’s an actual consumer demand for whatever you’re increasing production to try to satiate, and there’s a way of making that demand “effective”. In other words, your customers first have enough money to pay the prices needed to cover the costs, plus enough of a profit to make the process worth continuing, and second, are willing to spend it.

    We try to do everything completely backwards. We forget that without a steady consumer demand that can always be made effective what we produce can’t be consumed. Not all of it, anyways. We’re mired in a system of economic thought that was once true, but now is increasingly becoming hopelessly outdated. That thought holds that the act of producing anything also produces enough purchasing power to buy it. At one time, right up until the early days of the Industrial Revolution this was roughly so. Today it no longer is. If you took ALL the incomes paid out in any given time period, and applied them towards liquidating ALL the costs generated in that same time period, they could never do it. Nor can they in ANY other given time period. Yet here we are, fixated on jobs, as if all we need do is create ever more of them and everything in the garden will be rosy. Wake up, people, you’re being led down the garden path to a destination you won’t want to go!

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