NEWS RELEASE · 20th September 2011
Office of The Premier
B.C. is poised to attract new investment into our economy, creating and protecting jobs for families in every region. As part of "Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan" to be formally released on Thursday, Premier Christy Clark made an announcement to help secure B.C. as the preferred gateway to Asia-Pacific trade and enable our resources to get to world markets.
"I am in Prince Rupert today because if you are looking at Canada from Asia, with an eye to investing in our country, Canada truly starts here," said Premier Clark. "It is through British Columbia ports where resources are shipped to Asia, and where goods arrive for distribution at home and to the rest of North America. A bright economic future for British Columbians is linked to opening up Asia-Pacific markets to the rest of Canada, and B.C.'s transportation network will be the key to success."
The Province confirmed a $15-million contribution for the $90-million Road Rail Utility Corridor project, Phase 1 of a planned $300-million development at the Port of Prince Rupert. This project includes investments of $30 million from CN and $30 million from the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The federal government continues to work through its process to determine its participation with respect to the remaining $15 million.
"We are building on a solid foundation of good fiscal management to attract new investment to British Columbia," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom. "Our transportation infrastructure is the backbone of our economy. This investment will expand our capacity to meet the increasing demand for our valuable resources and allow us to be cost-competitive, efficient and reliable, while creating and protecting jobs in every region of B.C."
The $90-million Road Rail Utility Corridor Project will expand Ridley Island's terminal capacity to help meet Asia's demand for Western Canada's natural resources. The project includes construction of new inbound and outbound rail lines and the extension of on-site rail and utilities. The investment will create over 570 direct construction jobs over the life of the project and will further provide up to 4,000 operational jobs after all construction is complete.
"This investment by the Government of British Columbia will have a major economic impact in Prince Rupert - and far beyond its shores," said Port of Prince Rupert President and CEO Don Krusel. "The Road, Rail and Utility Corridor will anchor bulk, container, and logistics terminal developments that will build jobs and opportunities along our North American trade routes, reaching clear across the Pacific to rapidly-growing Asian markets and producers."
"CN is pleased to see the Government of British Columbia and the Prince Rupert Port Authority come forward with funding commitments for this critical infrastructure at Ridley Island," said CN President and CEO Claude Mongeau. "CN is willing to do its part by contributing up to $30 million to put in place a common-user roadbed to serve new bulk terminals and strategically add export capacity in the Prince Rupert Asia-Pacific Gateway."
Premier Clark will announce the full BC Jobs Plan on Thursday. There are three pillars at the heart of "Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan" to help us deal with today's economic uncertainty and emerge from it stronger than ever:
* Expanding markets for B.C. products, particularly in Asia.
* Strengthening our infrastructure to get our goods to market.
* Working with employers and communities to enable job creation across B.C.
Underlying these pillars are continuing commitments to ensure our skills and training programs lead the way to the jobs of tomorrow, and to maintain the prudent and fiscally responsible approach that our economy needs - and taxpayers deserve.
To accelerate growth, the BC Jobs Plan also leverages the strengths of our most competitive sectors - resource, knowledge and infrastructure - to bring new dollars into our economy from our most important trading partners.