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Federal decision on New Prosperity Mine hurts B.C.

Rejecting Taseko’s proposed New Prosperity mine comes as a surprise and is huge blow to the future of B.C.’s economy and for the Williams Lake community.  Because of the federal government’s decision, 1200 construction workers will not have jobs and 500 British Columbians will not benefit from permanent jobs. It means losing $730 million in added provincial and federal revenue during its operating life.

One of our competitive advantages is our ability to harness the power of our vast natural resource sector responsibly. We have been doing so for decades. In B.C., the sustainable environmental practices of mining are a global beacon of good practice and we are the world’s leading centre of expertise for mineral exploration.

When the world is watching, the decision to reject the New Prosperity mine sends the wrong message. Our province is focused on getting a foothold in emerging markets and attracting new investment so that the private sector can create stable, well-paying jobs for British Columbians.  Jobs in communities like Williams Lake where they are looking to grow and to keep families close to home.

A recent edition of our Construction Monitor explores the benefits of the New Prosperity mine and what it means to B.C.’s future.

CEO Breakfast Focused on LNG and the Economy

Minister Rich Coleman addresses packed room at ICBA's 17th annual CEO Breakfast
Minister Rich Coleman addresses packed room at ICBA’s 17th annual CEO Breakfast

With more than 200 construction industry leaders and representatives, it was a crowded room at ICBA’s 17th annual CEO breakfast. This year’s keynote speakers included Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development, Rich Coleman and BCBC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Jock Finlayson.

The plans for a new liquefied natural gas industry are taking shape. It was clear from Minister Coleman’s remarks there is real momentum and B.C. can emerge as a leader in this industry. So far,12 proponents are interested in building LNG plants and final investment decisions are expected this year. If three of these multibillion-dollar LNG plants are up and running by 2020, that could result in thousands of construction jobs. This bodes well for our industry.

BC Utility Commission decision favours competition

ICBA along with the Mechanical Contractors Association of B.C., HRAI and Ameresco formed the Coalition for Open Competition and came forward to oppose Fortis BC’s attempts to broaden their gas distribution monopoly and compete unfairly in the heating and air conditioning market. The Coalition’s voice was heard.

The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) came down firmly on the side of competition. They rejected Fortis BC’s application to expand its business into mechanical contracting. Fortis BC’s application would allow their work  to be regulated by guaranteed pricing. This would extend their monopoly and hurt the small businesses in this market. Read more

Construction industry’s changing role is vital for prosperity in B.C.

As we move into 2014, the future of British Columbia’s construction industry is looking bright.

With massive resource projects on the horizon and a recently re-elected provincial government that wants to harness the power of these projects to drive economic prosperity for all, thousands of new jobs will be created.

One example is the rapidly growing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry. As of today, there are 12 projects in various stages of development. They are some of the largest projects in our province’s history. Just one, the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, is larger than the proposed Keystone Pipeline expansion in the United States. Read more

B.C.’s balanced budget provides certainty and stability for the construction industry

Last week, B.C.’s Finance Minister Mike de Jong tabled a balanced budget that forecasts surpluses for the next three fiscal years. This is good news for British Columbia and good news for the construction industry.

Part of the government’s plan to grow the economy is to invest in infrastructure. Over the next three years, there is a healthy capital spending program of $11 billion and this doesn’t include spending of Crown corporations such as BC Hydro.

The construction industry should be pleased with this and the fact that this is the kind of budget that is good to see because it has stability, predictability and consistency. Read more

Site C dam offers decades of benefit

Cheap and reliable electricity is a cornerstone of British Columbia’s economy. This month’s Construction Monitor examines the Site C Clean Energy Project, a major new source of power in northeastern B.C.  Today, B.C. has a chance to renew and extend the legacy that W.A.C. Bennett began in the 1960s when his government built massive dams and generating stations on the Peace and Columbia Rivers.


The Site C Clean Energy Project on the Peace would create a major new source of power, at a time when BC Hydro expects demand for power to leap with development of a new liquefied natural gas export industry. The $7.9 billion Site C project does more than drive our exports. It creates prosperity for thousands of B.C. businesses and tens of thousands of workers. Construction of the dam and its generating station brings 10,000 person-years of direct employment, and a total of 33,000 person years of work throughout the economy.

Read more