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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.
Minister Coleman emphasized that he is looking to the construction industry to supply the needed labour to build LNG. He stated that British Columbians and Canadians will get first crack at jobs but they would be looking outside Canada as well. He also highlighted the new LNG Buy BC initiative, which connects local B.C. businesses to the multinational corporations building their projects and encouraged members to sign-up.

Jock Finlayson, talked about the recovering global economy and where Canada fits in. Overall, Canada’s economy should gain momentum over 2014-15 because of stronger global growth and the recovering U.S. market. The Eurozone has emerged from recession, the pace of economic growth in the U.S. is accelerating and Japan is seeing positive GDP growth. He noted that the Canadian, U.S. and German economies are bigger than they were before the recession, but many others are smaller.

Here in B.C., Jock noted that we have lagged behind other Western provinces since mid-2012, but GDP and job growth are expected to pick up. He also stated that non-residential construction will be important in driving the province’s growth.

Although we are still recovering from a fragile global economy, these are encouraging signs of what’s ahead. We are on the heels of significant economic growth. It is an exciting time for our province and for the construction industry.




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