B.C.'s future hinges on next premier's resource sector plans

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Vancouver, May 8, 2013 – As voters prepare to head to the polls, the BC Chamber of Commerce is reminding British Columbians that B.C.’s economic future hinges on how well the next premier manages the province’s resource-based economy.

“There’s a popular but mistaken belief out there that B.C.’s wealth is rooted in sectors such as ecotourism and film,” said John Winter, the BC Chamber’s president and CEO. “While every business sector contributes to our prosperity, B.C.’s resource industries remain the cornerstone of our economy – and a crucial factor behind British Columbians’ enviable standard of living.”

Tax dollars flowing from B.C.’s resource industries are a critical source of funding for B.C.’s hospitals, schools and social programs. These industries also support high-paying jobs for British Columbians, which in turn fuel B.C.’s consumer economy.

The BC Chamber is concerned that, apart from some discussions about pipelines, B.C.’s political parties have kept virtually silent about their near-term plans for B.C.’s resource industries. The BC Chamber calls on parties to clarify their plans for these industries before voters go to the polls next week.

“It’s great to see support for developing LNG in B.C., but the BC Chamber cautions voters that that’s a long-range plan,” Winter said. “Voters will need to decide which party will steward B.C.’s resource industries forward in the near term by eliminating valueless bureaucratic backlogs and taking a ‘getting to yes’ attitude to resource projects.”

Winter stressed that, in a shaky global economy, B.C. can’t afford to sideline its resource industries for ideological reasons.

“These industries are B.C.’s heritage and its core competitive advantage on the global stage,” he said. “We need to support these industries, while continuing to encourage world-leading environmental and social practices, so that B.C.’s resource industries will be a model to the world – both economically and ethically.”

For further details, please contact:

John Winter
President & CEO
BC Chamber of Commerce
T 604.638.8110
C 604.376.3577

Jenny MacPhee
Communications Officer
BC Chamber of Commerce
T 604.638.8114
C 604.366.4990