B.C. Jobs Plan ignores the Island, Trevena says

MLA says the idea to create the plan was good but the plan itself was a let down for this area of the province.

  • Sep. 27, 2011 2:00 p.m.

The B.C. Jobs Plan misses the North Island completely, according to North Island MLA Claire Trevena.

Premier Christy Clark unveiled the plan last week, and although Trevena said the idea to create the plan was good, the plan itself was a let down for this area of the province.

“Canada may start in B.C., but the first land mass you get to is Vancouver Island and the Liberal Job Plan seems to ignore Vancouver Island,  which is very troubling if this is their approach for economic development, that a large section of the province with a very high population base is ignored,” said Trevena.

The plan says that with a population of 727,422, the Vancouver Island/Coast region can expect 152,600 job openings in the next 10 years. However, Trevena said these numbers are hard to quantify.

“Having targets is very important but you’ve got to make sure that you have the jobs,” explained Trevena. “Are we going to see jobs created in Campbell River where we need jobs?”

The plan outlines the expansion of the mining industry, boosting B.C.’s exports, and losing ‘red tape’ making it easier for businesses to invest here, among other things. But, Trevena pointed out that the plan focuses on expanding  raw resources exports, like logs, too much.

“There is no value added in this jobs plan and that is what is very damaging for the North Island,” she said. “Having value added is what makes a community.”

The North Island has only one specialty mill; no large sawmill or pulp mill. Trevena also said the plan misses new possibilities for job creation in this area, like investing in tidal power, or new ways to expand the aquaculture industry. The B.C. Jobs Plan website states that by 2020 there will be over one million job openings, and 75 per cent of those jobs will require post-secondary education and training. Although Trevena said that it’s positive that Clark wants to increase the number of international students by 50 per cent over four years, there is no mention of making education more affordable for people on the North Island or the rest of the province.

“The cost of education, it’s been spiraling out of control really,” said Trevena. “It’s all very well to attract students from abroad but this isn’t the way that you actually grow your skilled workforce for your communities.

“We’ve got to make sure that there are B.C. people who can fill B.C. jobs.”

The plan also sets out investments in a redevelopment project in Prince Rupert and a road and rail infrastructure project in Deltaport, but Trevena pointed out that there was no investment on Vancouver Island.

“What we ended up with is very broad brush strokes really missing the mark, not looking at the specifics of what can work for communities,” said Trevena. “We will start Canada at Vancouver and forget the Island is what we’ve seen.”

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’ by authorities in Campbell River

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

UPDATE: Fire in abandoned Campbell River house deemed suspicious

Reports of homeless people using vacant home at 666 8th Ave.

Campbell River man in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 by Monday afternoon

Campbell River firefighters respond to four structure fires in a week

North Campbell River fire deemed ‘suspicious’

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read