As he gets ready to tour resource communities in northern British Columbia, Premier John Horgan says he is focused on highlighting important opportunities and hearing from people in B.C.’s northern interior.
Horgan is beginning a tour through northern British Columbia on Jan. 17, and that tour will include stops in Quesnel, Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James.
“People in the resource sector helped build this great province, and we’re proud of that,” Horgan said in a press release. “We want to highlight the opportunities here to build a stronger and more sustainable economy that benefits everyone. It’s important to me to have strong relationships with community leaders throughout the north and the interior and to talk to people in the places they call home.”
The premier says one of his top priorities will be hearing from community leaders about how to build on the province’s support for communities that depend on the forestry sector.
“Most of us as British Columbians, if you don’t work in the industry yourself, you certainly have a friend or a neighbour who does, or you grew up in a community that depends on forestry like I did,” he said. “There’s frustration and anger there with the recent challenges, for good reason, and we understand that. People at the heart of this have been through a difficult period and need our government on their side. That’s why we’ve taken action with supports for workers in the short term, and we’re working hard to ensure our forests support B.C. jobs now and for generations to come.”
Horgan highlighted “the importance of supporting communities across the province on their long-standing infrastructure needs that were ignored for years by previous governments.” Communities including Burns Lake, Fraser Lake and the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District were among those helped by the Province’s $100-million Northern Capital and Planning Grant.
Horgan also highlighted that since 2017, the government has invested in creating hundreds of new child care spaces in the region and made it more affordable, putting over $3 million back in parents’ pockets. Work is also underway on large projects like the new emergency department and ICU at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel.
The premier also pointed to communities seeing their first major education capital investments in decades, noting a new school being built in Quesnel and major behind-the-scenes improvements to schools in school districts 91 and 54.
“It wasn’t that long ago the previous government was closing one school after another in this region, only making life harder for families and hurting communities,” said Horgan. “We’ve made different choices, and I’m proud of our government’s work to build new schools and support kids to learn in modern classrooms, making sure they get the best possible start in life and building a better B.C., together.”