CDI Corporation

Port infrastructure development plan will add jobs in B.C.

A major infrastructure development plan for the Port of Prince Rupert is predicted to create thousands of new jobs in the region.

A study released by the Prince Rupert Port Authority estimated that nearly 5,000 jobs would be created in British Columbia if its infrastructure development plan is carried out over the next 12 years and beyond.

The development plan includes terminal-related improvements for over 1,000 hectares of land and the connection of Fairview Container Terminal, the Ridley Industrial Site and Lelu Island into a trade gateway that would be able to ship more than 100 million tons of cargo each year. Other projects include expansion of the coal and container terminals and construction of import and export logistics parks. The ultimate aim of the plan is to reduce land use and community conflicts, gateway congestion and environmental impacts.

Through the project, 4,780 full-time, port-related jobs will be created and 2,090 jobs will be created indirectly, reported Northern View. If the development plan is fully realized, 14,000 jobs could be added in British Columbia, with 8,000 of them directly port-related. The job gains would create $310 million annually in wages.

The port presently has 3,060 direct employees and produces $6.1 million in net tax revenues. If carried out, the development plan would generate an annual economic output in the region of more than $2.7 billion.

“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,” said District of Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald.

The Port of Prince Rupert is the deepest harbor in North America and the closest port to Asia on the North American west coast.