They say bad things come in threes, and that was certainly the case when it came to the news for much of the week.
First there was word on Tuesday that JS McMillan Fisheries was shutting down their processing plant, a move that will cost 80 full-time jobs, and the next day the Northern BC Real Estate Board released stats for the first half of the year showing property sales in Prince Rupert were down and that the community was the only one west of Burns Lake that saw a drop in sales. Finally, the numbers from BC Ferries show that ridership on the Inside Passage is down 1,366 people from the first two months of summer last year, while ridership to Haida Gwaii was also slightly down.
Yep, certainly not what I would call a good news week. While it would be pretty easy to be pessimistic following some of the above news, the thing is that you never know what next week will bring.
Amongst that bad news, there is of course plenty of good news for Rupertites.
Exports through Fairview Terminal are up 79 per cent in the first half of 2011 compared to the first half of 2010; Chicago is looking at an intermodal expansion that could ship another million containers to Fairview Terminal; Ridley Terminals remains on track to break last year’s record and Premier Christy Clark re-affirmed the government’s commitment to growing Prince Rupert as it only serves to spur on economic growth around the region and the province.
By no means do I want to make light of the people and families impacted by the closure of JS McMillan – my heart goes out to them, I wish them all the best and I hope they can find a way to stay in the community.
As I’ve said in the past, Prince Rupert is and will be for some time a town in transition – primarily from a resource based economy to a transportation hub for North America and the Asia-Pacific. And one thing I’ve learned in my years in journalism is that you never know what is going to happen from one week to the next.
Last week was a rough one, and I don’t know what this week will bring. But I have no doubt that the long term future of Prince Rupert is nothing but bright.