Job stats raise question of priorities

Looking at the latest employment figures from the province, it’s clear to see why there is somewhat of a debate surrounding energy projects.

Looking at the latest employment figures from the province, it’s clear to see why there is somewhat of a debate surrounding energy projects in the region.

Projects such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway project and, to a much much lesser extent, the Pinnacle Pellet terminal have things about them that people don’t like. In the case of the pellet terminal these include health concerns and visual quality impacts, while the list of concerns around the Enbridge project are plentiful and have been covered in great detail before.

But on the opposite end of these concerns is something that the northwest as a whole needs – and that is more jobs. There’s no way to look positively at double-digit unemployment numbers or the loss of 5,900 jobs from last July to this July.

To put that in perspective, the population of Smithers in the 2011 census was 5,400 – so that’s just over one job lost for every resident of that community.

And while the Minister may note that there is plenty of activity in Kitimat with the Alcan Modernization Project and in Prince Rupert with the port-related activity, the fact is that when the northwest as a whole isn’t doing so great on the job front it impacts both of those communities. When people are unemployed, the chances they’re going to take a short trip to visit another community lessens, and the chances they’ll be leaving the region to look for work elsewhere increases. This affects our hotels and restaurant sector (which shed 2,300 jobs across the province last month) and the service sector.

So the trade off goes back to economy versus environment. It’s a back and forth battle in which those on one side are never really going to change the perspective of those on the other side. Welcoming these industries into the community strengthens the economy while also impacting the environment around us.

It’s up to the individual to decide what is most important to them, and whichever side you’re on be prepared to defend it.

Just Posted

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Visibility improvements coming for Prince Rupert’s downtown streets

Work on McBride Street and Second Avenue intersections, crosswalks, will take place this fall

Pipeline challenger says his feelings are irrelevant

The prospect of a federal review has Kitimat and Terrace businesses and residents worried

Prince Rupert receives Softball BC’s association of the year nomination

Association could receive $1,000 and a free coaching clinic as prizes

Harbour Theatre bids Lyle McNish a witty farewell

McNish hosted his final night at the Tom Rooney theatre on Sept. 15

More than 125 runners take part in Northern View Cannery Road Race

Teen Terrace runners first to finish 5km and 10km, Prince Rupert runner wins 21km race

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Cyclists finish North America trip to highlight Ukraine struggle

The 10,000 bike ride raised over $10,000 for victims of the war in Ukraine.

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

Tilray to export cannabis formulation to U.S. for clinical trial

Marijuana remains illegal in most of the U.S.

Court of appeal grants injunction on Taseko’s exploratory drilling in B.C. Interior

The decision provides temporary protection and relief, said Chief Joe Alphonse

Volunteer crew ready to build ramps for B.C. amputee

Jean Moulton will soon have an easier time getting in and out of her home.

Most Read