UBC Undergraduate Research

Maximizing local benefits : natural gas development in Northeast British Columbia Yang, Sherry

Abstract

BC’s natural gas (‘NG’) industry has grown significantly over the past decade and emerged as one of the province’s strategic sectors. Given the key role it plays in BC’s economy, this study builds on the Department of Industry’s (‘Industry Canada’) interest in understanding to what extent communities in Northeast BC (‘NEBC’) are maximizing economic benefits through NG development. The study arrives at the following findings: • Northeast BC’s NG industry drives GDP, high-paying employment opportunities, business development, and revenues for particular municipalities; • Although industries are expanding upstream opportunities outside of the conventional natural gas development value chain, economic benefits are not maximized to the full extent as reflected by employment leakages and weak downstream initiatives; and • NG industry’s social and environmental impacts undermine the industry’s long-term development, community growth and ability to maximize benefits. To help communities optimize NG’s potential, this study recommends: • Support existing initiatives on local skills development to help bridge existing labour supply with industry needs; • Facilitate regional initiatives to bring together NG businesses across the supply chain to network, access resources and showcase industry’s capabilities to NG producers; • Nurture local capacity in value-added activities in NG; • Identify strategies to manage the industry’s social impact and improve liveability in order to support a prosperous and long-term settlement by permanent residents; and • Promote better communication, transparency and accountability of the industry’s environmental conduct.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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