Spin-off port spending a boon for city

Three Vancouver-area shipping terminals between them spend nearly $600 million on goods and services in British Columbia, according to figures released today. The impact includes $115 million in the city of Vancouver


In pictures: Click here to see the full graphic.

The Coal Alliance, which represents the $3.2 billion BC coal industry, said the data was a response to opposition to growth of the industry, particularly in the city of Vancouver, which has no coal port activity.

BC has the largest coal industry of any Canadian jurisdiction. According to a recently released annual study, the commodity accounted for 47 per cent of BC’s net mining revenues in 2013.

BC’s coal exports were valued at $5.7 billion in 2012.

The three Vancouver-area terminals – Neptune, Westshore and Fraser Surrey Docks – spent $584.4 million on various products and services across the province since 2009, according to the Coal Alliance.

Spokesperson Alan Fryer said “many municipalities might be surprised by all the spin-off spending that goes on in their own back yards.”

A recent study by the Resource Works Society found that when the natural resource economy of British Columbia grows by 10 per cent – a fairly common type of occurrence – the result is 30,000 new jobs in British Columbia, 55 per cent of which are in the Lower Mainland.

Fryer pointed out that the main beneficiary of the terminals’  spending has been Vancouver itself, much of it in "small and medium-sized businesses on various equipment, materials and services for daily operations – everything from environmental consultants to catering from the local coffee shop or pizza parlour."

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