As local UBCM government associations throughout BC prepare to meet over the next two months, and as we also approach BC Mining Week in May, it’s a good time to remind ourselves that our rural, resource-based towns and communities have little in the way of economic diversity and rely largely on fishing, mining, forestry, coal and gas.
Local Mayors and Councillors will be considering resolutions on mining; a re-emerging industry that will have a positive effect on all of our communities. Mining now contributes over $9 billion to BC’s economy, and exploring for mineral deposits is a major source of safe, sustained economic activity for rural communities and the families who live in them.
The mining industry in BC is responsible for 45,700 permanent jobs and generated over $930 Million in government tax revenue last year, including $74 million generated directly for local municipalities. And over the next 10 years it is estimated that new growth in mining and exploration will require 17,000 new workers.
Mining provides some of the highest paying jobs in BC, and our province is geologically wealthy. I therefore urge the Mayors and Councillors meeting over the next two months to support mining and exploration in BC. The jobs this industry creates in BC will keep our children and grandchildren close to home supporting local small businesses and strengthening our communities for generations to come.