Chief Mike Wyse of the Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Mike Wyse speaks with Doug Donaldson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operation, on Thursday in Nanaimo. The meeting was part of coast forest sector revitalization consultation. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Job creation on the minds of politicians on Vancouver Island

Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair to take place Feb. 7 in Comox

As provincial political parties lay out their visions for the coming years, they know it’s British Columbians who will be rolling up their sleeves and doing the work.

A byelection in Nanaimo has been a cause for campaigning and B.C.’s three main parties have different ideas about how to create and sustain good jobs on Vancouver Island.

The Island isn’t as forestry-dependent as it once was, but that industry remains a pillar of the economy for large segments. The NDP government’s recently revealed coast forest sector revitalization plan will have some regional impacts.

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson recentyly spoke to Black Press Media about measures to ensure more B.C. processing of logs and fibre.

“The forest companies have to make a profit. But they’re making a profit off a publicly held resource and we want to make sure that the main beneficiaries of that publicly held resource are the public – the communities and the workers,” Donaldson said.

Premier John Horgan said ensuring “a strong economy on Vancouver Island” is one of the reasons his party wants to move away from allowing raw log exports.

RELATED: Vancouver Island career fair will help serve a job-seekers’ market

“We have seen mill after mill after mill shut down and our natural resources, in raw form, going offshore to create jobs somewhere else,” the premier said.

“We have an extraordinary opportunity in forestry. We’re going to work hard with the large companies, but also those small re-manufacturers.”

Tony Harris, the BC Liberals’ candidate in Nanaimo, said at a recent debate that investing in institutions such as the hospital, university and port authority creates jobs directly and indirectly.

“What happens is not only do you have good jobs in each of those pillars, but the spin-off jobs with tech … and then you’ve got sales jobs and support jobs and research jobs,” Harris said.

“So we need to talk about the big investments and look aspirationally towards where we’re going and then the private enterprise will come and support that public component of our community.”

Michele Ney, contender for the BC Green Party, suggested that discussion of job creation has to start with talking about spending on education, which she said is a “gold stock.”

“By investing in education, in science, innovation and technology, we can help support the young people transition into our new economy and they will be the leaders in that economy,” said Ney.

Jobs will remain front and centre next week as the Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair takes place Thursday, Feb. 7, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at 19 Wing/CFB Comox, Station Main, Lazo Road, Comox.

For more information about the event and the exhibitors, click here.

Just Posted

Habitat for Humanity North Island wants to keep momentum going

Organization asks City of Campbell River for more land to build homes for young families

28 townhouses on the way to 525 Dogwood

Council approves latest phase of development, but not before expressing traffic concerns

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Leigh wants Strathcona Regional District budget amended over water rates

Area D Director cites punitive water rates as a reason to slow down process

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read