Leading into the election the Prince Rupert Northern View will be sending questions out to the candidates on different topics of interest to the North Coast from different stakeholder groups.
This week the question focused on shipping and was thought up in our newsroom. While all candidates had the opportunity to respond with up to 300 words by press deadline, only the following three candidates provided answers. The questions this week are as follows:
1) Prince Rupert has emerged as Canada’s newest Asia-Pacific gateway for shipping goods to and from the Asian markets. What policies would you pursue to see this aspect of Prince Rupert’s economy continue to grow?
I am unfamiliar with the port and its needs. If elected I’d hurriedly seek information concerning this. The Green Party policy is to invest heavily in rail transportation and surely this can be greatly improved by increasing double line tracking.
A Liberal government will cancel the Harper government’s 2011 and 2012 corporate income tax cuts and the Conservative’s mismanaged $30 billion deal for F-35 stealth fighter jets so the federal government has resources to invest in promoting Canada’s Asia-pacific gateway.
Instead of Conservative spending on corporate tax cuts and fighter jets we don’t need, a Liberal government will establish a Canadian Transportation and Infrastructure Strategy that targets major Canadian objectives such as international trade competitiveness, regional development and economic growth. For British Columbia and the Pacific Gateway, it will mean investments in highways and major roads that support international trade.
To maximize the opportunities associated with the Asia-Pacific Gateway, a Liberal government will pursue new bilateral agreements with China and India focused on enhancing people-to-people cooperation, exchanges and collaborative projects in key sectors such as higher education, clean technologies, culture, tourism, financial services, transportation, natural resources, trade logistics and governance.
We also need to protect our Pacific Coast from the threat of oil spills. The disaster we all watched last year in the Gulf of Mexico was a grim reminder that we must always be vigilant to protect our natural environment and regional economy from the threat of oil spills.
New Democratic Party
Securing a long term future for all parts of our shipping and transport industry in Rupert is going to be critical for both that community and the whole region.
For all of the reasons we know (quicker, less congested, etc) Prince Rupert is the best option for moving things off of the West Coast. I have worked with our partners in the community to secure tens of millions of dollars from Ottawa and this is just the beginning. Along with Phase Two for the container port we will be looking at creating even more opportunity for Ridley and creating the kind of value-added economy right here in the Northwest so we’re taking advantage of living beside a world class port.
Around the world we have examples of communities that have developed their port and built an entire second industry around it. Vancouver, Seattle, LA have all reached their physical limits and Canada and the US need Prince Rupert to maintain access to the eastern markets. We will be that access and the community should be proud of the success we’ve achieved so far.”