We had lots of good news on the economic front this past week. Great export numbers, an approval for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports and all of this coming hard on the heels of the new employment numbers.
Next week we are back in the Legislature debating bills and setting the framework for our economy to grow.
Have a great week!
Pat Bell - (MLA Prince George North) http://www.patbellmla.bc.ca/
1. Establishing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry in British Columbia moved a major step closer to reality with the National Energy Board (NEB) approving a 20-year export licence for the Kitimat LNG facility – the first license of its kind in Canada.
With the capacity to supply B.C.’s natural gas to new markets, demand will increase for the province’s energy resources and investment will be secured for ongoing development. Long-term jobs and business opportunities will be available for northeast communities. The Kitimat LNG facility itself will create approximately 1,500 person-years of work during its construction phase and 120-140 permanent positions once the terminal is in operation. The facility will be supplied natural gas from through the Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) (Summit Lake to Kitimat), which is expected to create another 1,500 construction jobs.
2. We are taking steps to further encourage business immigrants to invest in communities in regional B.C. through the BC Provincial Nominee Program. This is one of a series of steps as part of a commitment in ‘Canada Starts Here - The BC Jobs Plan’ to attract more entrepreneurs from other countries to help create jobs regionally. The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) provides accelerated permanent resident status to entrepreneurs and qualified workers based on labour market and economic development priorities. Among the changes, a new online investment matching service will link potential business immigrants to business opportunities in regions, with a focus on small business succession, an area of concern identified by the small business sector. In some cases, small business owners in smaller rural communities are facing challenges in finding people to buy their companies when they are ready to retire. The service is scheduled to launch in November.
3. As I said earlier positive export numbers again for the month of August B.C.’s exports were worth $2.874 billion, an increase of $423 million or 17.3% compared with August 2011. The big winners were coal, energy, agriculture and equipment and machinery.
4. Another great month as well for lumber exports to China with our first 8 months of exports surpassing 3 billion board feet! This represents a 107% increase year to date over last year and a year to date value of ¾ of a billion dollars!
5. Korea and Taiwan are also looking very good with year over year growth of 26% and 37% respectively. In fact at this pace the combination of these 2 countries will represent about ½ billion board feet or the production of 2 sawmills.
6. British Columbia has the lowest smoking rate in Canada for the 12th year in a row at 14.3 per cent, says the 2010 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS). B.C.’s overall smoking rate fell to 14.3 per cent in 2010 from 14.9 per cent in 2009, according to the CTUMS. Overall in Canada, smoking rates are 17 per cent. Ontario has the second-lowest rate at 15 per cent, with Saskatchewan the highest at 21 per cent.
Most positively, B.C.’s smoking rate for youth aged 15 to 19 years decreased from 13 per cent in 2009 to 8.9 per cent in 2010. This is the lowest rate achieved since 1999. The national rate is 12 per cent.
7. Applications are now being accepted to help local sport, municipalities, Aboriginal and community organizations increase sport opportunities for British Columbians of all ages and abilities.
The Local Sport Program Development Fund provides grants of up to $2,000 for sport programs that aim to increase access to British Columbians. This could include opportunities such as clubs establishing a youth division; a new sport program that requires specialized equipment or coach training; or a club that wants to introduce their sport to local schools.
8. Mining is returning to the Princeton region as the Copper Mountain Mine celebrates its grand opening today. The mine brings jobs to the area and benefits the entire province. Having started production in June 2011, Copper Mountain is the third-largest copper mine in Canada and the first major-metals mine to open in British Columbia since 1998. The 7,285-hectare (18,000-acre) site is located 20 km south of the town of Princeton and is expected to produce approximately 2.27 billion kilograms (five billion pounds) of copper over its life. When fully operating, the mine will provide about 270 mining jobs in the Princeton area. The B.C. mining sector hit $7.9 billion dollars in gross revenues in 2010, returning to 2008 historic levels after rebounding in recent years.
9. You likely know them as the happy, hardworking kids in the barns at every summer fair across British Columbia. The Province knows them as the future of agriculture, and that’s why it’s investing $85,000 in the B.C. 4-H program’s young members through a provincial grant. More than 2,350 young people between six and 21 years old participate in the B.C. 4-H program. The goal of the 4-H program, which is now more than 95 years old, is youth development, with a focus on knowledge, leadership, citizenship and personal development.
10. B.C.’s future forests will include super-trees that can shrug off attacks by pests like the mountain pine beetle – or are remarkably efficient at sequestering carbon, reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. People here and elsewhere will use a simple screening test to detect diabetes waiting to happen, so it can be prevented – and another to easily pinpoint which of many underlying conditions is causing a patient’s high blood pressure, so it can be treated successfully. There’s a link between these four projects: Christoph Borchers, one of the world’s top proteomics researchers. Borchers’ appointment as the Don and Eleanor Rix B.C. Leadership Chair in Biomedical and Environmental Proteomics.
Proteomics is the study of the structure and functions of proteins. It can be used in every area of biochemical research. Borchers, director of the UVic Genome BC Proteomics Centre at the Vancouver Island Technology Park, is focusing on health and forestry in his LEEF chair role.