In last week's Pass Herald there was the following story...
Mayor hopeful for new industry in Pass
Now for where this story originated read this...
Municipality Working on Economic Development Opportunity
I find the contrast between the first story above, which paints a Potemkin village picture of the Pass and its overly optimistic chances of success in getting this manufacturing plant, and the stark realities of its real competitive chances as published by our bureaucrats at municipal hall by way of their public announcement.
In random order, the following are my observations:
- Mayor says this plant will employ 100 people, while our CAO says 50?
- Workers would no longer have to travel to the mines in B.C. or go up north to work, they could stay here and work at this manufacturing plant. (paraphrased by me)
If this manufacturing plant lands up being anything like what R&R and Arctic Spa were, paying slightly more than minimum wage, I can't see those workers leaving their $30+/hr. jobs for jobs paying half or less than half of what they are making now, can you?
- Is the mayor suggesting we are more stable while big city centers are not? How does he justify this? Where does this even come from? Are all city dwellers transients whereas we aren't? I don't get it?
- The mayor seems to gloss over the fact that they will also be visiting and considering 3-4 other locations, as well. I don't like our chances, especially when you consider the following...
- "With transportation costs on the increase, and space in the municipality being vast, the Pass quickly became a strong candidate for the factory’s location."
This one I have real troubles with for two reasons:
Transportation Costs: Years back, I remember talking with Cliff Reilng our former EDO who told me the reason the Pass would never be considered by manufacturing companies as an ideal place to relocate or set up is because of transportation. We are too far from major city centres and transportation networks and therefore would have to transport everything by truck as is what R&R and Arctic Spa were forced to do, resulting in part with why they had to eventually close their doors... and with fuel costs ever rising... you get the picture? I would think a manufacturing company dealing in heavy construction would find it especially difficult and costly!
Space in the municipality being vast: Yes, we are vast with 18 miles from Leitch Colliers to the AB border, at the lakes, and approximately 1-2 miles wide, and with all this space there is very little big acreages available, especially industrial land, suitable for a manufacturing plant. Therefore the only logical place for this manufacturing plant is the former Arctic Spa site in Sentinel. This facility could be the carrot that draws them here? Lets hope so! Little else, I'm afraid, would, because the facts are we just don't have the land for them, if they plan on building a facility of any half decent size.
No, my friends, knowing as I do that the Pass Herald has recently entered into a unique and exclusive arrangement to give the mayor 1 publication out of 4 each month to speak to the people on whatever issues he feels like (in order to promote himself and his council as proactive on the economic front, in this case, I'm guessing?), I'm afraid what we have here is wishful thinking and self-serving promotion using a company that came to us (rather than the other way around) who after doing their homework will decide for reasons given above that we just won't do. I hope I'm wrong as we need jobs here desperately, even minimum wage plus jobs, but the facts and the lay of the land speak for themselves, no matter how much we wish them to do otherwise.
Future technologies and green industries, essential to foster sustainable economic growth, along with adventure tourism and recreation is where our future lies. The sooner we come to grips with this new reality (that even our provincial and federal leaders refuse to acknowledge) the sooner we will be on the road to a bigger, brighter and more stable and sustainable future for all.
People hate the truth. Luckily, the truth doesn’t care.