Economic Development Office January 26, 2005
TUMBLER RIDGE ¬ With the recent announcement that Western Canadian Coal Corp. had finally been granted its environmental assessment certificate for their proposed Wolverine project, mining officially returned to the community of Tumbler Ridge.
Besides congratulating Western Canadian Coal on their accomplishment, the first order of business for the District of Tumbler Ridge is to work alongside the company for the mutual benefit of both parties. Economic Development Officer Ray Proulx summarizes their intent,?As WCC searches for the products, services and workforce required to implement their project plans, we are trying to opening doors and highlight opportunities for local commerce. Our hope is that we will meet these goals through collaborative conversation and planning.?
This news represents the latest installment in a series of positive events Tumbler Ridge has experienced over the past year that, when combined, signify a vibrant economic forecast.?Despite the significance of this announcement,?said Proulx,?it is only the beginning of what?s to come for this town.?
The District received an unprecedented number of inquiries regarding business relocations and investment opportunities over 2004. The approval of the Wolverine project has only added fuel to this fire. Proulx emphasizes that businesses must act now, stating?This period in time represents the ground floor where business can access and position themselves for the windfall of benefits that are expected to be generated.?
In anticipation of the change expected to arrive the District of Tumbler Ridge has already set in motion a series of initiatives to accommodate businesses growth, including the expansion of its heavy industrial park and C2 commercial zone.The town is also working hard at attracting developers that are able to help reduce its severe shortage of accommodation for visitors and workers in the form of a new hotel.
Mayor Clay Iles is elated by the announcement from Western Canadian Coal, but would like to emphasize that the District will not curb its efforts for economic diversification.?It would be shortsighted and shameful to place the future of this town back into the hands of a single industry again,?Iles said,?We?re keeping our eye on the big picture, which is the long term success of this community. All the pieces required to solidify a positive future are being put into place, now it is up to all of Tumbler Ridge to make it happen.?