BC government’s job plan on right path

Harvey Oberfeld
By Harvey Oberfeld
September 26th, 2011

I like the provincial government’s new job plan–not because they promised thousands of new jobs almost immediately, but because they didn’t.

We all experiecned the hype before, provincially and federally, from every political party that has held office or wanted to: with the hype and promises skyrocketing in job numbers in direct proportion to the proximity of the next election. This one had the hype, but in the end–perhaps because Christy Clark has disdained seeking a public mandate for her premiership or “new” government’s agenda–there were no huge, ridiculous vows to create 100,000 or 200,000 jobs within the next six months.

The truth is starting to take root in BC: our economy’s ups and downs are largely dictated by the global economy; the demand for our resources; investment growth and consumer spending south of the border or overseas.

As Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of BC admitted in a Vancouver Sun op-ed piece what happens in the Asian economy is of huge importance to BC.

For 2011, “lumber sales to China are on track to reach $1.5 billion, up tenfold from a few years ago,” Finlayson wrote.

Got that? Up tenfold! And that’s is a bad economic year. Just imagine how we can do with not only China, but Japan and other Asian markets, once construction really picks up!

So much for all the crud the big business community and all their media mouthpieces were shovelling our way that without the HST, the sky would fall in on our economy.

Finlayson goes on to suggest Asian trade growth (the world’s largest import market) will drive growth not only in Greater Vancouver, but Prince Rupert and Prince George as well.

And Clark’s announcements this week acknowledged that: $15 million for road, rail and utility improvements in Prince Rupert, and $50 million for similar improvements in Deltaport. And there will be expedited processes for major resource investment projects to go through all the hoops to get decisions on projects without compromising environmental concerns or consultation with first nations.

Who could oppose any of that?

I know it’s easy for partisan opponents of any government in power to just dump on anything and everything a government does. (And readers know I have done a lot of that myself!)

But I try to keep in mind, the most important goal of our society is for as many people as possible to have decent jobs, so they can take care of themselves, their families, and even help support those with challenges unable to fully care for themselves.

And if the Liberals can do that–and protect the environment at the same time–we should all wish them success.

No matter that some of what Clark announced was old, no problem that some it will take time, no concern that MUCH of it ultimately will depend on world conditions and markets. So what else is new!

It was just nice to hear all that acknowledged …rather than have to listen to all kinds of pie-in-the-sky promises that everyone would have known was fiction.

And isn’t it wonderful what even the Liberals now think BC can achieve … even without the HST.

Harv Oberfeld is a blogger and retired journalist and broadcaster. This column originally appeared in his blog, Keeping It Real. Reprinted with permission.

This post was syndicated from https://rosslandtelegraph.com
Categories: Op/Ed