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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2013PREM0039-000581

March 22, 2013

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
and Responsible for Labour

 

 

BC Jobs Plan: Steady progress toward a strong economy in the Cariboo

 

WILLIAMS LAKE – A day after releasing her government’s latest update on the BC Jobs Plan, Premier Christy Clark visited West Fraser Timber’s Williams Lake Sawmill to tout the benefits of the plan to the Cariboo Region.

 

“Creating jobs requires having a plan, one that builds on strengths and capitalizes on opportunities,” said Premier Clark. “In the Cariboo, that means investing in the skills of our people and getting our lumber and our minerals to market. I am proud to say that at the 18-month mark, our plan is working.”

 

Launched in September 2011, the BC Jobs Plan is government’s strategy to grow B.C.’s economy and create jobs. The 18-Month Progress report highlights government’s continued focus on skills training and attracting foreign trade and investment to B.C. Significant progress has already been made, with 11 of 19 targets already met at the 18-month mark.

 

Targets met since the previous update include:

 

·         Having 10 new non-treaty agreements in place with B.C. First Nations by 2015, including a Strategic Land Use Planning Agreement with the Ulkatcho First Nation and the Nazko Incremental Treaty Agreement with the Nazko First Nation.

·         Reducing the Water and Land Act permit backlog by 50 per cent.

·         Putting in place a strict new quality assurance system for international education.

 

“The BC Jobs Plan is making a difference for people in my region and all over the province,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “Job creation and economic growth support our families, and the Jobs Plan produces both. This is exactly the type of long-term planning that families in our province need.”

 

The report also updates British Columbians on government’s progress to strengthen B.C.’s economy through the 17 commitments and 61 actions set out in the plan. Highlights include:

 

·         Doubling B.C.’s international presence and opening new trade and investment offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai and Chandigarh.

·         Expanding the Mobile Business Licence program with two one-year pilot projects in 12 Lower Mainland communities, enabling employers to operate across municipal and provincial borders.

·         Working with communities through the Enhanced Community Economic Support Initiative to identify and take advantage of economic opportunities. This includes training 250 leaders in local government and First Nations through ten Economic Essentials workshops by March 2013.

·         Launching new electronic Notice of Work applications in February 2013 to help maintain an average 60-day turnaround time – part of government’s efforts to enhance the regulatory framework for forests, lands and natural resources.

·         Funding approximately 320 graduate student internships in the Mitacs-Accelerate program in 2012-13 to promote entrepreneurship education.

·         Attracting more international students to B.C. through a new international marketing strategy, a refreshed LearnLiveBC website, and seven education marketing managers based in trade and investment offices around the globe.

·         Continuing to implement $22 billion in Asia Pacific Gateway infrastructure improvements, including the recently opened Port Mann Bridge – officially the world’s widest.

·         Laying the groundwork for a new liquefied natural gas industry in B.C. with, for example, amendments to the Clean Energy Act, development of a Natural Gas Workforce Action Plan (by April 2013), and better skills training equipment for Northern Lights College – the province’s headquarters for a new BC Centre of Training Excellence in Oil and Gas.

 

 

Quick Facts:

 

·         Signs that B.C. remains on track with a stable and growing economy:

o   Forecasted GDP growth of 1.6 per cent.

o   Overall job growth, with 47,100 jobs added since August 2011.

o   A declining unemployment rate (6.3 per cent in January 2013).

o   An ‘A’ from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for regulatory reform – the only province to receive an ‘A’.

o   $80 billion in major projects, with an estimated value for proposed projects at $156.3 billion.

o   A triple-A credit rating.

o   Record exports from B.C.’s ports.

o   A diversified export market, with just 40 per cent of B.C.’s exports going to the U.S. (compared to Alberta’s 87 per cent and Ontario’s 78 per cent).

 

 

Learn More:

 

BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca

 

 

Media Contacts:

 

Media Relations

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

250 387-2799

Ben Chin

Office of the Premier

250 588-3113

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect


 

BACKGROUNDER 1

For Immediate Release
2013PREM0039-000581

March 22, 2013

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
and Responsible for Labour

 

 

The BC Jobs Plan: Progress in the Cariboo

 

Regional employment statistics:

·         A total of 29,170 job openings are expected in the region by 2020. Among them, 4,490 are expected to be new jobs due to economic expansion. 

·         The year-to-date unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent (as of February 2013) is lower than the same time last year at 7.5 per cent.

 

Region-specific activities under the BC Jobs Plan include:

·         To align infrastructure with the needs of key industries, including liquefied natural gas, CN invested $12 million in its Locomotive Reliability Centre in Prince George to support increased train traffic in northern British Columbia.

·         The Mt. Milligan Copper-Gold Mine, near Prince George, is expected to begin production in the second half of 2013, while the Bonanza Ledge Gold Mine near Barkerville will soon move forward with construction. The Province also has approved a major expansion of the Gibraltar Copper-Molybdenum Mine near Williams Lake.

·         Post-secondary institutions in the Cariboo continue to make advances in international education:

o   During the Province’s trade mission to China and India in November 2011, the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) signed an agreement with a university in Shanghai, China. The same month, UNBC created its first joint international degree program, a collaborative master’s degree in Environmental Science and Engineering, with Shanghai.

o   Since September 2011, the College of the New Caledonia has signed over 14 partnership agreements with post-secondary institutions in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Japan, Chile, Scotland, Vietnam, Suriname, Guyana, the Philippines, and China. The college has also developed two new study abroad/volunteer partnerships with Developing World Connections and Projects Abroad.

o   In September 2012, the College of the New Caledonia launched a new two-year post-diploma in information technologies (PDIT), aimed at recruiting international students with at least two years’ post-secondary education in information technologies or computer science. The first two intakes for this program were all students from India, all of whom had a three-year bachelor’s degree in a related discipline. This post-diploma combines theory and hands-on laboratory teaching in the field of computer networking, along with a 160-hour internship with local employers. 

·         The Province has reached agreements with First Nations to provide certainty for investors and more opportunities for Aboriginal communities and families. This includes:

o   Strategic Land Use Planning Agreement with Ulkatcho First Nation for its portion of territory that is within the Great Bear Rainforest.

o   Nazko Incremental Treaty Agreement between the B.C. government and Nazko First Nation will expand economic development and job creation opportunities, and provide benefits to the First Nation in advance of a final treaty agreement.

·         A network of seven education marketing managers are now in place in British Columbia's trade and investment offices in China, India, Korea, and Japan, with additional positions engaged on the international education file in B.C.'s United States and European Union offices.

o   This network supports the international education sector by promoting B.C.'s competitive advantages to potential students, identifying and co-ordinating partnerships between B.C. institutions and international organizations, and participating in missions and trade shows.

o   The education marketing managers visited B.C. educational institutions throughout the province this spring as part of an orientation tour. Co-ordinated by the British Columbia Council for International Education, the week-long mission included school visits and roundtables involving the University of Northern BC, College of New Caledonia and Cariboo and Prince George school districts.

·         British Columbia’s trade and investment representatives from key international markets have made a series of visits and tours throughout the province.

o   These road shows allow the international representatives, who are based in priority markets throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, to build partnerships and relationships with B.C. businesses and communities in key regions and sectors, including natural gas, mining, biomass and technology.

o   During the summer 2012 road show, trade and investment representatives took part in the International Bioenergy Conference in Prince George and participated in meetings and site visits in the Cariboo region.

·         A series of workshops for local leaders have been tailor-made to provide participants with training related to a full range of economic development activities in their communities, including attracting investment and supporting new and existing ventures.

o   The workshops are designed for elected local government and First Nation officials and their staff.

o   A local leaders workshop, facilitated by the Economic Development Association of B.C., was held in 100 Mile House in March of 2013; a Prince George workshop is scheduled for late April.

 

Media Contacts:

 

Media Relations

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

250 387-2799

Ben Chin

Office of the Premier

250 588-3113

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect


 

BACKGROUNDER 2

For Immediate Release
2013PREM0039-000581

March 22, 2013

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
and Responsible for Labour

 

 

BC Jobs Plan: Getting Results Together

 

·         Since release of the Jobs Plan, B.C. has added 47,100 jobs as a result of a gain of 77,500 full-time positions combined with a loss of 30,300 part-time positions (as of February 2013).

 

·         The current unemployment rate in British Columbia is 6.3 per cent (February 2013) – the fourth lowest in Canada, down from 7.0 per cent one year ago and 7.5 per cent when the Jobs Plan was released.

 

·         B.C. exports to China increased to $6 billion in 2012, a 16 per cent increase over 2011, while exports to India increased to $321 million, almost a 60 per cent increase in one year.

 

·         The capital cost of all major projects currently under construction in B.C. is estimated at $80.6 billion, up from $78.9 billion reported in the third quarter of 2012. The capital cost of proposed projects is estimated at approximately $156.3 billion, up from $131.2 billion in the previous quarter.

 

·         In addition to Copper Mountain Mine (near Princeton), which began production in June 2011, two new mines have begun production since the release of the BC Jobs Plan (New Afton, near Kamloops, and Treasure Mountain, near Hope), and three more are now under construction.

 

·         Since the BC Jobs Plan was released, the Province has approved six major expansions of existing mines.

 

·         In 2012, Port Metro Vancouver beat its previous record with eight per cent growth in container traffic in 2012. In late 2012, the Prince Rupert Container Terminal also reached a major milestone, shipping half a million cargo containers – surpassing its original design capacity.

 

·         To date, three liquefied natural gas facilities have been granted export licences by the National Energy Board. As of January 2013, there are five LNG project proposals that have been formally announced. If five large LNG plants are built, the cumulative gross domestic product benefit to British Columbia is expected to add up to $1 trillion by 2046. 

 

·         According to a recent Reuters report, B.C. attracts more than 20 per cent of all venture capital investment in Canada, with venture capital investment growing by 71 per cent in Q2 (over 2011) – the largest gain in the country.

 

·         Through the BC Jobs Plan, government committed to engaging with British Columbians.  Over the past 18 months, the public has responded to the BC Jobs Plan’s open invitation for feedback, stories, ideas and input on government policies, priorities and direction.

 

·         During this time, the BC Jobs Plan website has received 267,000 unique visits while the #Skills4BC engagement received over 400 comments and 80 emails from citizens from every region of the province. As a result of that engagement, over 100 government actions to build a skills workforce and change perceptions of trades careers have been adopted.

 

 

Learn More:

 

·         BC Jobs Plan:   www.bcjobsplan.ca

·         Skill4BC:          www.bcjobsplan.ca/ideas-to-actions/

·         Skills training:             www.BCJobsPlan.ca/Skills

·         GetSkills Tool: www.BCJobsPlan.ca/GetSkills

·         Facebook:        www.Facebook.com/BCJobsPlan

 

 

Media Contacts:

 

Media Relations

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

250 387-2799

Ben Chin

Office of the Premier

250 588-3113

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect