It should not come as a surprise to anyone that the Site C Dam will provide numerous economic benefits to the Fort St. John area. The project is a massive undertaking, and the amount of resources and capital needed to bring Site C into reality will be staggering. So what specific economic benefits can the Peace Region expect to see now and into the future? You can expect to see jobs created and infrastructure improved, in addition to lots of other improvements to the economic climate in the peace region.
Thousands of jobs are expected to be created during the construction of Site C. The jobs will be done by local and regional workers from all sorts of different fields and backgrounds, with varying degrees of skill and experience. By local workers, we mean those employed by local businesses who are awarded contracts to take part in some phase of site c construction, whether that involves the clearing of land or the paving of roads. As a recent example, Paquette & Son’s Contracting, which operates out of Chetwynd, will be undertaking the job of clearing the south bank, while A.L. Sims & Sons Ltd, out of Prince George, will be improving public roads. These businesses will be the recipients of a portion of the $130 million allocated for construction expenses.
Through the course of Site C construction, businesses within the region are expected to form fruitful working relationships with one another through networking sessions facilitated by BC Hydro. BC Hydro also aims to make it easy for businesses to find opportunities for work through their Site C business directory and web presence at sitecproject.com.
Businesses which have been utilized by BC Hydro in the past span a wide range of fields from contractors, engineering consultants, catering companies, transportation companies, the local hospitality industry, land/aerial surveyors, photographers and janitorial staff.
Beyond the initial benefits associated with the cash running through local businesses associated with construction, the creation of the Site C Dam is expected to be advantageous to the local recreation and tourism industry. There are plans for new boat launch and day-use areas, which are poised to make the region more attractive to tourists. Local parks will also be improved. For example, $150,000 will be provided to the Hudson’s Hope district for improvement of the Alwin Holland Park. A shoreline walking trail will also be created, giving tourists the opportunity to get a close encounter with the area’s beautiful natural features. The dam itself is also expected to draw tourists, and public view points of the dam are set to be built to allow those interested to gaze upon the it.
The Site C project will result in large investments being made in skills and trades training, which will function in improving the quality of life of the local population. Specifically, BC Hydro will be investing around $1.5 million in training for trades programs around the region.
In sum, with more work being created for local businesses, we can expect to see a big increase in jobs. Furthermore, we will see increased spending and activity in the local tourism sector, which will provide a nice long term increase in economic activity for the region. This project will also see an increase in skills training, providing local residents with the opportunity to acquire gainful employment, now and into the future. All of these things are expected to contribute to the economic prosperity of the peace region in a major way.