Mayor Susan Johnston and provincial jobs minister Pat Bell look at the region’s trail network while discussing tourism opportunities in the area.

Jobs minister shares his vision for Hope

Pat Bell stopped by district hall on Tuesday to meet with council to discuss priorities

Hope is on the radar for economic development funds, according to B.C. Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell.

He stopped by district hall on Tuesday morning with Liberal byelection candidate Laurie Throness to discuss the provincial jobs plan with council and find out about local economic development priorities.

“When I look at Hope, I think of it as the barometer of British Columbia and the interface between urban and rural B.C.,” he said. “When Hope does well, it means that probably both elements are working well. But if Hope is challenged, it means we’re probably not doing something right in one of those two areas.”

Bell identified six key areas for economic opportunities, including forestry, mining, agri-food, tourism, international education and natural gas. Upgrading Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park and setting a consistent operating season to increase tourist flow was a local priority that Bell said aligns well with the jobs plan to expand backcountry opportunities relating to adventure tourism.

Tapping into the natural gas industry was also identified as a key economic strategy. Bell said Hope’s geographic location at the centre of four provincial highways makes it ideal to develop an initiative around liquified natural gas as a transportation fuel.

Another opportunity Bell is looking into is the possibility of relocating Haig Fire Base across the Fraser River to Hope Airpark. This move would provide a more stable helicopter landing environment and generate economic traffic in the region, he said. During the peak of summer, Bell pointed out there can be several hundred people stationed in a fire base.

Throness acknowledged the community efforts that are driving many of the local economic opportunities.

“I think council is really doing a great job pursuing job creation and that internal momentum is really key. We can only help,” he said. “I really feel optimistic about Hope. It is at a point of transition and change, rather that at a point of decline.”

Bell said he’ll be taking the information from Tuesday’s meeting back to the various ministries in Victoria and provide feedback to the district within the next few weeks.

“If you don’t try and move this stuff down the road within two, three or four weeks, often times it gets buried and people forget about it,” he added. “My principle has always been of one to react quickly.”

 

Just Posted

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

UFV students raise money to keep ‘nicest’ person in Abbotsford

Foreign student struggles to pay for schooling after Trump withdrawal from Iran deal

New quad chairlift to be installed at Manning Park, replacing 1970s era Orange Chair

Chairlift investment part of a master plan general manager Vern Schram is developing with BC Parks and local First Nations

Girl, 6, lured from elementary school, sexually assaulted: Vancouver police

Police are seeking dashcam footage from nearby Sexsmith Elementary School in South Vancouver

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Torched-SUV victim ‘had the purest heart,’ says sister

Family of teen found in burned SUV in Surrey appeals for justice

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read