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Premier Clark delivers six-month BC Jobs Plan update

by NationTalk on March 13, 2012148 Views

For Immediate Release
2012PREM0026-000280
March 13, 2012

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation

Victoria – Premier Christy Clark released today the six-month progress report for ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’, which clearly outlines the steps taken by our government to promote economic investment and job growth in British Columbia.

“Six months ago we put in place a plan to focus on job creation, protection and promotion. And today I am pleased to report on the accomplishments we have delivered,” said Premier Christy Clark. “We clearly set out our objectives to British Columbians in our ‘Canada Starts Here’ jobs plan and our government has worked hard to not just talk the talk. Today’s report measures our performance and identifies the work we still need to do. I am proud of the progress we have made, our continued economic growth and the number of new jobs added to our economy. Our government remains focused on the priorities of B.C. families: jobs, economic growth and opportunity.”‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’ builds on our government’s solid foundation of prudent fiscal management to attract investment and open new markets for B.C. products and services, and to create jobs for British Columbians. As part of the plan, B.C. is making smart investments in infrastructure and is working hard to ensure British Columbians have the right skills for tomorrow. According to the latest data, we are see real results from our focused efforts. British Columbia has added 39,900 net new jobs to the economy.

This report to British Columbians measures our results, identifies what we have accomplished and where we still have work to do. This update on also serves to keep our government focused on British Columbian’s number-one priority: to grow and protect jobs.

Specific achievements made during the last six months include:

· In less than six months, four mines have begun construction, received key approvals or permits or had operations extended. The backlog of notice of work applications for mines has also been reduced by almost two-thirds. Our government is committed to eight new mines and the expansion of another nine mines currently operating in British Columbia by 2015.

· The National Energy Board has approved a 20-year export licence for the Kitimat liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility – the first of its kind in Canada. This is a big step toward the jobs plan’s goal to bring at least one LNG pipeline and terminal online by 2015, and another three in operation by 2020.

· $50 million has been committed toward terminal, road and rail improvements at the Deltaport container facility. Another $15 million was invested to support road and rail utility infrastructure expansion at the Port of Prince Rupert. Our government also committed $5 million to improve border infrastructure and information systems.

· We established the Major Investments Office, dedicated to working with investors proposing large projects with the potential to create large numbers of jobs.

· Regional Work Force Table forums have been held in various locations throughout the province, as well as Regional Economic Investment Pilots in Campbell River, Barriere-McBride and the North Fraser region.

· The Immigration Task Force has been established and has toured the province, seeking advice and input from communities and employers about their ongoing support for immigration and the role immigrants will play in filling the forecasted one million jobs openings over the next decade.

· The BC Jobs and Investment Board has been put in place, providing objective analysis and recommendations on the jobs plan’s progress.

· Ensuring British Columbians are trained for the jobs of tomorrow is a key piece of the BC Jobs Plan. Over $500 million is being invested annually for labour market and training programs, targeted to meeting regional and industry labour market needs. A trades training conference was also held on Dec. 5, 2011, attracting more than 160 leaders from training and education, business, labour, government and trade organizations.

· As part of opening new markets with Asia Pacific, the Province embarked on the BC Jobs and Trade Mission to China and India in November. The trade mission established 60 business deals and partnership agreements across six sectors, including transportation, seafood, LNG, mining, post-secondary education and forestry.

Now that much work has been done to re-orient government toward jobs creation, the next six months will concentrate on sector strategies for forestry, mining, agrifoods, transportation, international education and technology.

“The jobs plan has three key pillars –opening markets, particularly with the Asia Pacific, strengthening our infrastructure to get goods to market, and working with employers and communities to encourage job creation, said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell. “I’m encouraged to see that in the first six months’ progress is being made on all these fronts, and am eager to see the results of the next six months.”

Learn More:

The six-month progress report is available at: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/6_Month_Progress_Report.pdf

A backgrounder follows.

Contacts:

Rebecca Scott
Deputy Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 589-9722

Sheldon Johnson
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 213-5811

We want to hear from you. Share your ideas about the BC Jobs Plan at: www.bcjobsplan.ca


BACKGROUNDER

March 13, 2012
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Innovation

‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’ delivering results for British Columbians

In the past year, 39,900 net new jobs have been added to our economy.

· Statistics Canada’s most recent labour market report noted that British Columbia’s unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent, down from 8.7 per cent at this time last year. This is Canada’s best percentage point decrease during that time period.

· In 2011, the value of exports destined for the Pacific Rim was 43 per cent, up from 36 per cent in 2009. This represents the first time that export levels to the Pacific Rim were higher than those to the United States (42.7 per cent).

· Exports to key Asian markets identified in ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’ were up considerably in 2011. Last year, B.C.’s exports to China hit record levels, reaching $5.1 billion, an increase of 24 per cent from 2010 – and a 442 per cent increase since 2001.

· Goods shipped to Japan rose by 12 per cent to $4.7 billion last year, while those to South Korea were up by 45 per cent to $2.7 billion. Exports to India rose by 49 per cent to $201 million.

· Premier Christy Clark’s first trade mission, which was to China and India, established 60 business deals and partnership agreements across six sectors with a dollar value of exceeding $1.4 billion, including transportation, seafood, liquefied natural gas, mining, post-secondary education and forestry.

· We established sector-specific training programs in shipbuilding, mining, and forestry to ensure British Columbians have the skills necessary to work in changing industries.

· Budget 2012 established job creation incentives, including elimination of the jet fuel tax for international flights, extension of the property tax relief for ports, an additional $3 million for the Small Business Venture Capital Program and extension of the Training Tax Credit Program.

· British Columbia’s competitive tax environment is leading to large, job-creating investments in the province. Encana has entered into an agreement that will see Mitsubishi invest almost $3 billion for a 40 per cent interest in the Cutbank Ridge natural gas partnership. Rio Tinto Alcan plans to invest approximately $3.3 billion to modernize its primary aluminum smelter in Kitimat.

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