While many eyes around the country are on Prince Rupert as a potential boomtown with the development of the LNG industry, the District of Port Edward has been quietly preparing for a bright future.
Under the radar of the national media, but well covered by the Northern View, Port Edward council has been proactively working with industry and developers to position itself as a boomtown in its own right.
In the recent past, Port Edward has sold a large chunk of land to the PTI Group to develop a massive work camp for construction workers, has sold 11 acres of land to energy giant AltaGas for what will probably be a floating LNG terminal or a propane export facility, has constructed a brand new school while leasing out the former building to Pacific NorthWest LNG and the PTI Group to create a new business/office space in a town that was otherwise devoid of such. There is also talk with a developer to purchase and improve the community’s trailer park.
Outside of work being done with companies, the community has completely revamped its Official Community Plan to outline areas of future industrial and residential growth, has planned for a major bypass road to keep truck traffic off of the main road by the school and is using the money from previous land sales to try and purchase additional crown lands that may be of interest to the business community.
While the major media may not be entirely aware of what is happening in Port Edward and its potential for growth, BC Premier Christy Clark knows what “Dancing Dave” and the rest of council are up to. Out of all of the communities in B.C. she could have mentioned as successes in a highly public speech to the members of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, she shone the light on the District of Port Edward.
While people in Prince Rupert are rightfully excited about the potential growth of the community, Port Edward is preparing for growth that is just as significant. And that bodes well for the future of the North Coast.