Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Province of Northern BC

The time is here for a province of Northern BC.

Canada would benefit from there being two pacific coast provinces. Northern BC would be very motivated into making the ports of Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Stewart into major ports for the nation. The highway 16 corridor could be made into the primary import/export conduit for the nation.

Northern BC would have a population of 320 000 people - the second smallest in Canada but a province with a lot of resources on hand. Large oil and gas reserves - enough for several generations. Most of the new mines in Canada. Large coal reserves. The Peace has grains and the rest of the region has a low to cattle. And the grand daddy of all is forestry. This would be a province that would be able to look after itself.

Northern BC would also be able to be control its own destiny - it would decide the pace of development. It would no longer be beholden to all these MLAs from the south.

The creation of Northern BC would quickly speed up the development of Prince George as a significant city. With the building of a legislature and a new civil service, Prince George would gain a new class of people. Right now anyone going to the senior levels of the civil service or in elected politics has to leave the north. With a capital in PG, there would be more people moving in.

With the rise of PG as a capital, there would be bigger demand for flights in and out of PG. The CBC would have full time radio there and the market for other media would expand. The rise of PG would also mean that transport would change - there will be a demand for flights from Dawson Creek/Fort St John, Prince Rupert, and elsewhere into PG. The need to fly to Vancouver and back would be reduced. Connections with Alberta would be increased.

Northern BC could choose to look to the south or Alberta for some services or create their own.

Northern BC is also home to the most interesting and innovative university in Canada. UNBC is the core to the dynamic expansion of the economy of Northern BC.

In 20 years I can see Northern BC as a strong province with 500 000 people and unparalleled financial resources. The province would be centred on three main hubs. The Peace for Oil and Gas, Prince George for government and forestry and Prince Rupert/Kitimat/Terrace for shipping.

Northern BC would be well placed to work with Alaska and Yukon to build the rail, electrical and pipeline infrastructure needed to bring the North into the grid of the rest of North America.

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