July 1, 2009
Communities across central and northern BC welcome the change in leadership at Ridley Terminals and look forward to a new era of cooperation between Ridley Terminals, resource industries and communities across western Canada.
Ridley Terminals is a key asset of Canada’s ‘Northern Gateway’ port infrastructure. The terminal and deepwater port berths have the potential to dramatically expand Western Canada’s resource industry shipments of coal, wood pellets, sulphur and other bulk products to the world. We welcome Bud Smith as new interim board chair and look forward to him working with the board to enable industry investment, while still retaining the port as a public asset. In turn, this will stabilize and grow the economies of many resource dependent communities. Through this important transportation infrastructure link, the economies of rural resource communities will be strengthened.
Karen Goodings, President of the North Central Municipal Association, noted that “We were heartened by the quick response from Minister Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Senior Regional Minister of British Columbia, to the concerns of regional community leaders. He responded to us that “Ridley Terminals is clearly a driving force based on its involvement with 30 communities and 350,000 people in BC,” and confirmed that “Ridley Terminals is a public asset.”
“We know that members of parliament in this government, like Ministers Hill and Merrifield, who are from resource dependent rural communities in Western Canada, understand how critical it is to have a strong culture of co-operation and a positive investment climate for industry,” said Mayor Evan Saugstad of Chetwynd, Vice Chair of the Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Ridley Terminals is a public asset that moves the resources that drive our economy to the world. Central and northern BC is the growth engine of BC’s economy, producing two thirds of our provincial exports. Industries based in our communities that depend on the Port of Prince Rupert and Ridley Terminals are key to our economic future.
The region is positioned well to come out of this recession with a diversified resource base and the most efficient and least congested public port system in western North America. Community leaders feel a publicly operated Ridley Terminals is critical to their vision of northern economic development.
Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic growth and job creation in central and northern British Columbia. Over $50 million in funding has been committed to 353 projects with a total project value of over $335 million.
For information on funding programs and economic development in central and northern British Columbia, visit: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/
The North Central Municipal Association is an association of local governments whose mission is to address issues and to move forward initiatives for the benefit of its members.
For information on the North Central Municipal Association, visit: http://ncma.enorthernbc.com/
Mayor, District of Chetwynd, and
Vice Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust
Phone: (250) 401-4102, (250) 788-5572 (cell)