Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Other projects and optimism on the North Coast discussed on the Bill Good show

While the focus of the day was on LNG development, the 10:30 to 11 AM hour of the program offered up a review of some of the other opportunities that are in the planning, proposal or development phase at the moment.

Both Derek Baker from the Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Office and Jason Scherr  from the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce offered up some thoughts on the potential ahead for the North Coast.

The session started with the topic of education once again central to the theme with Mr. Good again stressing the importance that UNBC has had on northern British Columbia.

Affordability of housing in Prince Rupert and the services offered locally to those that may be planning a move here was discussed for a moment, before the review of the major projects was provided.

The Container Port expansion, the Coal Terminal expansion, the work at the Grain Elevator as well as the Pinnacle Pellet Plant soon to come into operation all were pointed to as key to the future.

The topic of the potential for  both a Potash Terminal and the LNG projects was also discussed as part of the larger picture moving forward.

The conversation then moved on to the types of services that have arrived recently,  the arrival of WalMart was a particular focus of discussion, with Prince Rupert providing a welcome to the retailer where other communities have in the past been not be so welcoming.

The discussion of the nature of a rebirth of the local economy was examined, as Jason Scherr of the Chamber advised that there was more of a sense of optimism in the community than in recent years.

At this point Good opened up the conversation to phone calls, with callers offering up some thoughts on the prospect of growth on the North Coast.

One caller from Port Edward offered up comments on the nature of the LNG debate and the environmental aspect of its development and its sustainability.

A new resident in the region offered up some thoughts, having set up a small business in the region to serve the communities of the Northwest, suggesting that the growing demand and optimism led to their decision to locate here.

The half hour wrapped up with a discussion on how Prince Rupert's port connection is providing for growth in many communities along the Highway 16 corridor, with the projects of the future only adding to the prospects for those regions as well as on the North Coast.

The need to diversify the economy was also discussed with not only the industrial base important but that of tourism a part of that planning for that diversification. The topic of the attempts to bring back the cruise industry were discussed, with hopes that the growth of this aspect of the local economy would continue to grow.

You can review this particular aspect of the day's programming from the CKNW Audio Vault or from their Podcast portal.

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