Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Province seeks to improve trade through infrastructure

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark made mention of Prince Rupert a few times on Monday as part of her 25 billion dollar review of transportation plans for the province.

For the most part, the shout outs to Prince Rupert were actually recycled news, the 100 million dollars allocated to the Prince Rupert Rail Utility corridor and expansion plans for the coal terminal at Ridley Island long ago made public, but reinforced on Monday to highlight the BC Liberals transportation plans.

So while, no actual new funding was announced for the Prince Rupert industrial base, her comments did serve to re-enforce the importance of the Port of Prince Rupert to the province's long term economic plans.

Other items of note from her Monday press conference outlined plans for a metal and mineral terminal for somewhere in Northwest British Columbia, no specific home port was announced for that project, as well as 2.8 billion in investment for rail by both CN and CP rail.

As well, commitments to increase container terminal projects at Deltaport and the increase of potash terminal capacity could impact on Prince Rupert's economic plans as well.

Rupertites of course are still awaiting word from Potash Corporation about any development plans for a potash terminal for the North Coast, a much discussed project over the last few years that hasn't really move forward very far as of yet.

The chief rival for Prince Rupert's potash aspirations is North Vancouver's Neptune Bulk Terminal, which played host to the Premier for her Monday announcement, a terminal which has seen significant expansion over the last year of its handling capabilities.

It will be with interest that North coast residents watch developments in North Vancouver, and wonder what impact that expansion may have on their hopes of a potash terminal of their own.

Victoria Times Colonist-- Same old new transportation strategy

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