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Notes for an address by
The Honourable Lynne Yelich
Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification
Corresponding Document: News Release
Check Against Delivery
Good afternoon everyone. It is an honour to be here today on behalf of the Government of Canada.
While planning my trip to Prince Rupert, I came across a description of the city, which after today, I find truly fitting:
"On British Columbia’s North Coast you don’t control nature, you pay attention to her every mood. This is a place where eagles, bears, and whales outnumber people. An area with over 10,000 years of First Nations history. A place where being friendly and out-going is just the natural way to be. This is Canada like you have never experienced.”
Even on this rather cloudy day, I am amazed at all the natural beauty that surrounds us.
Prince Rupert is also an important port city in British Columbia. It is the land, air, and water transportation hub of British Columbia's North Coast, and also home to the Prince Rupert Container Terminal, which creates significant economic opportunities for Canadian importers and exporters and connects Canada to the Asia Pacific markets.
WD recognizes the important role the Prince Rupert Container Terminal plays in the Western Canadian economy. In fact, our department provided $30 million towards initial development of that project. It gives me great pleasure to be here today to deliver additional good news for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley region.
In 2009, the West Coast Community Adjustment Program - known as WestCCAP - was announced to support economic growth, job creation and the future sustainability of communities affected by challenges to the salmon fishery. Since the mid-1990s, British Columbia’s salmon industry has been affected by resource declines, competitive forces and weak markets. You all know, only too well, the effects on the commercial and recreational fisheries, and the significant ongoing challenges for coastal communities dependent on the fishing industry.
Our Government is committed to working with you to create a thriving economy that is diversified enough to withstand these challenges. It gives me great pleasure to announce that through WestCCAP, our Government is investing over $590,000 for four projects in the Skeena-Bulkley Valley region.
With this funding, the region will see: a new Metlakatla Wilderness Trail; upgrades to the Port Edward Fishing Village Museum; an expansion of the boat launch at the Bella Coola Harbour; and a new Interpretive Garden at the Queen Charlotte’s Visitor’s Centre. These projects will strengthen and diversify local economies, enhance the viability of existing tourism operations and create jobs.
The Fisheries Legacy Trust, comprised of the 13 west coast Community FuturesOrganizations, are successfully delivering these projects on behalf of our Government.
Canada is built on a promise of opportunity, the chance to work hard, raise a family and make a better life. Initiatives such as WestCCAP are helping B.C. coastal communities to achieve this.
However, WestCCAP is just one of a broad range of initiatives aimed at ensuring economic success. Our Government, through Canada’s Economic Action Plan will continue to create and maintain jobs, and help Canadian workers and families to continue to rise above these difficult economic times.
Our Government recognizes that Canada’s prosperity depends not just on meeting the challenges of today, but on building a dynamic economy that will create opportunities in the future. By making investments like these, we are seizing opportunities to revitalize our economy to ensure our economy will emerge stronger than ever.
Together we are all working to build a stronger West for a stronger Canada.