A study on the Port of Prince Rupert’s development plan has forecasted the creation of almost 5,000 new jobs in northern British Columbia.
The jobs are said to be directly related to port activity coupled with increases in wages and government tax revenues.
The plan leverages on the potential growth of the port’s economic impact through 2025 and beyond and has anticipated a series of incremental economic impacts which include generation of 4,780 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs directly related to port activity; $310m annually in additional wages.
District of Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald said: "The potential for our corner of British Columbia to facilitate this level of trade is remarkable, and something we collectively welcome and are actively preparing for.
"The availability of new jobs close to home will reduce the number of residents who have to leave the region to find work."
It expects to procure $59m annually in additional local municipal taxes for the City of Prince Rupert and the District of Port Edward; $178m annually in combined taxes to all levels of government and augmenting the Gross domestic Product (GDP) of Canada to a sum of $400m annually.
Port of Prince Rupert president and CEO Don Krusel said: "The vision of Prince Rupert as a leading North American trade gateway builds on our strengths and our track record.
"The question is, can we achieve it?
"We believe we can, but it’s going to take a vision that aligns the priorities, efforts and investments of local communities and First Nations with the economic opportunities that are presented."
The Port of Prince Rupert intends the development plan to yield a sustainable, diversified, global port being in harmony with the community’s industrial land use and with the marine and environmental aspect and minimising gateway congestion.
The plan also includes development of port land at Fairview Container Terminal, the Ridley Island Industrial Site, and Lelu Island into a single trade gateway equipped with a capacity for 100 million tonnes freight transport annually.
It will utilise Ridley Island’s Road, Rail and Utility Corridor to augment the development opportunity for large terminals within the port.
Image: An image of cranes at the Prine Rupert Port equipped to handle large container ships. Photo: courtesy of miguelphotobooth, Flickr.