$40 million-dollar project to be bring jobs to rural canada. But, not really?

The northeastern part of British Columbia that is known for the oil and gas is about to have a new project that should provide jobs. The town has seen a mass exodus of sorts since there are no jobs available: people are even handing over the keys to their homes are leaving!

This is the crisis Mayor Bill Streeper is trying to stop in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality located in Fort Nelson. According to him, more than 70% of the jobs in the oil and gas industry are empty and a lot of them have gone to others parts of the country in search of greener pastures.

It is also unfortunate that those who have left their homes are unable to sell because it has no worth, basically.

Fort Nelson has a population of 3,900 and is 1,600km north of Vancouver.

But it seems like the government is coming through for this area: Premier Christy Clark believes that the installation of internet cables as part of the $40M-dollar high-speed internet project will create jobs in the rural part of the province.

What is good for rural B.C. is good for all of B.C. This is where the bulk of our wealth comes from and we need to make sure we are investing in people and getting to yes on projects that will allow communities like this one to thrive.”

The government will also be investing in rural dividend program to fund projects in the amount of $25M and make a $3,000 tax credit for the search and rescue personnel and the volunteering firefighters, among other things.

As of now, the rural areas have the highest unemployment rate in B.C. at 10.5% while the Lower Mainland is at 4.9%. The overall unemployment in the province is 5.8%; the highest nationwide.

Streeper doesn’t think the jobs created will bring in as much as the oil and gas did for his people.


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