Premier Christy Clark's six-month progress report for 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan'
Premier Christy Clark released the six-month progress report for 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', which clearly outlines the steps taken by our government to promote economic investment and job growth in British Columbia.
"Six months ago we put in place a plan to focus on job creation, protection and promotion. And today I am pleased to report on the accomplishments we have delivered," said Premier Christy Clark. "We clearly set out our objectives to British Columbians in our 'Canada Starts Here' jobs plan and our government has worked hard to not just talk the talk. Today's report measures our performance and identifies the work we still need to do. I am proud of the progress we have made, our continued economic growth and the number of new jobs added to our economy. Our government remains focused on the priorities of B.C. families: jobs, economic growth and opportunity."
'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan' builds on our government's solid foundation of prudent fiscal management to attract investment and open new markets for B.C. products and services, and to create jobs for British Columbians. As part of the plan, B.C. is making smart investments in infrastructure and is working hard to ensure British Columbians have the right skills for tomorrow. According to the latest data, we see real results from our focused efforts. British Columbia has added 39,900 net new jobs to the economy.
Read the full report here: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/6_Month_Progress_Report.pdf
Specific achievements made during the last six months include:
- In less than six months, four mines have begun construction, received key approvals or permits or had operations extended. The backlog of notice of work applications for mines has also been reduced by almost two-thirds. Our government is committed to eight new mines and the expansion of another nine mines currently operating in British Columbia by 2015.
- The National Energy Board has approved a 20-year export licence for the Kitimat liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility - the first of its kind in Canada. This is a big step toward the jobs plan's goal to bring at least one LNG pipeline and terminal online by 2015, and another three in operation by 2020.
- $50 million has been committed toward terminal, road and rail improvements at the Deltaport container facility. Another $15 million was invested to support road and rail utility infrastructure expansion at the Port of Prince Rupert. Our government also committed $5 million to improve border infrastructure and information systems.
- We established the Major Investments Office, dedicated to working with investors proposing large projects with the potential to create large numbers of jobs.
- Regional Work Force Table forums have been held in various locations throughout the province, as well as Regional Economic Investment Pilots in Campbell River, Barriere-McBride and the North Fraser region.
- The Immigration Task Force has been established and has toured the province, seeking advice and input from communities and employers about their ongoing support for immigration and the role immigrants will play in filling the forecasted one million jobs openings over the next decade.
- The BC Jobs and Investment Board has been put in place, providing objective analysis and recommendations on the jobs plan's progress.
- Ensuring British Columbians are trained for the jobs of tomorrow is a key piece of the BC Jobs Plan. Over $500 million is being invested annually for labour market and training programs, targeted to meeting regional and industry labour market needs. A trades training conference was also held on Dec. 5, 2011, attracting more than 160 leaders from training and education, business, labour, government and trade organizations.
- As part of opening new markets with Asia Pacific, the Province embarked on the BC Jobs and Trade Mission to China and India in November. The trade mission established 60 business deals and partnership agreements across six sectors, including transportation, seafood, LNG, mining, post-secondary education and forestry.
As we set a course towards greater economic growth for the province, these pillars guide each and every move. They are a blueprint for all government action. Since launching Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan, we have brought together employers in communities across the province with local leaders and government officials to discuss barriers to job creation in their respective regions and map out how best to overcome these challenges and seize investment opportunities. We have made strategic investments that make it easier for companies in B.C. to get their goods to market. And we have, through both face-to-face meetings and advertising campaigns, begun to open up new trade opportunities for B.C. products and the services that B.C. companies provide.
Forestry – As one of B.C.’s largest economic drivers, forestry plays a vital role in advancing the BC JobsPlan. Forest product exports exceeded $9.9 billion in 2011, and China has emerged as B.C.’s second largest market for softwood lumber products. B.C.’s forest sector will continue to blaze the trail inpursuing Asia-Pacific markets.
Mining – British Columbia has some of the best mining resources in the world, including coal, copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, lead and zinc, and we are well positioned to meet growing global demand. More than 28,000 British Columbians work in the mining industry today, earning an average salary of $108,000 a year. The development of just one new major mine could create 300 to 600 high-paying jobs and lead to the creation of another 450 to 900 spinoff jobs in local communities. Preliminary regional estimates for exploration spending come to $463 million in 2011, up 35 per cent from $341 million in 2010, and a 1,500 per cent increase from 2001.
Natural gas – Our natural gas industry has ranked second only to Alberta in production for the last 50 years. This $7.1-billion industry employs tens of thousands of people, providing the Province with $1.3 billion in revenue in 2010-11. Global trade in LNG doubled between 2000 and 2010, and is expected to increase by another 50 per cent by 2020.
Agrifoods – British Columbia’s agrifoods sector provides more than 63,000 jobs and generated $3-billion in gross domestic product in 2009. B.C. has the most diverse agrifoods industry in Canada, with more than 200 agriculture products and 100 seafood species. More than 1,400 processing businesses produce a variety of foods and beverages, from fruit juices and artisan beers to specialty pet foods and wild botanicals.
Tourism – In 2010, the tourism sector employed 127,000 British Columbians, generated over $13.4 billion in revenue for tourism-related businesses and contributed over $1.2 billion to provincial government revenues. We live in one of the cleanest, safest and most spectacular places in the world. Add to that our cultural diversity, and we have a huge competitive advantage in attracting visitors from around the world.
Transportation (ports, marine and aerospace) – British Columbia’s transportation sector generated $9.2 billion GDP in 2010 and accounted for more than 124,000 well-paying jobs in 2011 in road, air, rail, marine and transit sub-sectors. Since 2005, we have committed $22 billion to transportation infrastructure with other government and industry partners. Further investments will be needed to respond to unprecedented demand for B.C. goods and resources.
International education – British Columbia’s quality education system has been successful in attracting students from other countries: we have the highest number of international students per capita in Canada. In turn, many nations around the world now embrace B.C.-born students taking classes overseas. With the number of international students worldwide expected to increase, so will opportunities for British Columbia and B.C.-born students. International education created 21,500 jobs in 2010, with students spending an estimated $1.8 billion in B.C.
Technology – Our provincial technology sector is one of the strongest in the country, accounting for 5.9 per cent of provincial GDP and supporting almost all of the rest. Between 1997 and 2007, the technology sector doubled in terms of GDP and revenues. The sector’s share of GDP rose from 4.9 to 5.9 per cent, jobs in the sector grew by 43 per cent, and productivity increased by 40 per cent. In total, 84,000 British Columbians worked in the technology sector in 2009. With increasing use of high technology by traditional sectors like mining and forestry, this number is expected to continue to grow.