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Growing Industries in the North

Expanding industries in the Northern part of the province are driving BC’s economy. With plenty of renewable and non-renewable resources, the North has vast economic growth potential, including on Gitga’at traditional territory.


Creating a Knowledge-Based Resource Economy

According to “Northern B.C.’s Vision for Prosperity,” a report by the Initiatives Prince George Development Corporation and the Northern Development Initiative Trust, the North is interested in building a: “Knowledge-based resource economy that is connected to the world.” It’s not just about producing primary commodities such as wood; it’s about the opportunities that develop due to the knowledge and experience gained. This, in turn, fuels new ideas that can lead to growth.


Collaborating and Partnering with First Nations

A crucial part of this development is partnerships and joint ventures with First Nations. Their ability to provide a workforce and sustainable resource harvesting methods based on traditional practices is invaluable for development in the North. In addition, their input enables the creation of policies for resource harvesting that put environmental protection at the forefront of all initiatives.


Opportunities

To make this vision for prosperity a reality, there are several opportunities to pursue, including:

  • Adding value to natural resources

  • Expanding the economic engine with infrastructure investments

  • Recruiting, training, and retaining a motivated workforce in Northern British Columbia

  • Collaborations between First Nations, government, and business leaders create a positive platform for investment that includes regional-specific revenue sharing

Natural Resources

First, the creation of additional value from natural resources requires innovative thinking. Knowledge from efficiently harvesting and processing products such as timber can be turned into other products, services, and offerings. For example, organizations could create consulting offerings or software based on the knowledge of how to process timber or organize a mill circuit to improve efficiency. The main point here is to diversify beyond primary industries to create more resilient economies in the face of shifting and unpredictable commodity prices.


Infrastructure as a Driver of Economic Growth

Infrastructure investments are required to create a foundation for economic development. Large projects create many spinoff opportunities for businesses and employment for locals. The key is to make the investments within an appropriate timeline.


Training Programs

Putting funding to train a workforce is also a critical success factor. Programs to increase skill development and the completion rate of high school and apprenticeships can help ensure a steady supply of motivated workers.


The Benefit of Solid Partnerships

Joint ventures and partnerships with First Nations such as the Gitga’at are foundational to bringing prosperity to the North. With plenty of innovation and resourcefulness, economic growth can be the engine that creates wealth and success for generations, not just in Northern BC but in the whole province.


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