Ridley Terminals - Key to Northern BC's Economic Future


    PRINCE RUPERT, BC, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 30 communities and 350,000
people are connected to the future of Ridley Terminals as a public asset that
moves the resources that drive our economy to the world. Central and northern
BC is the growth engine of BC's economy producing two thirds of our provincial
exports. Industries based in our communities depend on the Port of Prince
Rupert and Ridley Terminals as key parts of our vision to be a 'knowledge
based resource economy connected to the world'.
    The North Central Municipal Association and Northern Development
Initiative Trust believe that Ridley Terminals is a strategic public asset for
our growing bio-energy, wood pellet and high quality coal products to reach
world markets. We envision additional resource export products being bulk
shipped out of Ridley Terminals' deep ocean berths as well. For that, we need
a gateway to the world that operates in a public, fair and transparent manner
with an understanding of the need for northern solutions to northern
transportation issues. As a public terminal facility, we have seen a
substantial investment by the wood pellet industry in this storage and loading
facility. We believe other industries can be encouraged to invest in an
effectively run bulk port that is respectful of the people and the economies
of central and northern BC.
    Ridley Terminals is key to the continued expansion of family by
supporting jobs in our mining, forestry and bioenergy industries. Efficient
and cost effective export means that Ridley Terminals must remain a public
asset to ensure there is growth and diversification in the wealth creating
rural regions of British Columbia. As mayors, regional district and community
leaders working together with industry, we intend to pull our region out of
this recession with a more diversified economy. This region will be further
insulated from a future recession as long as it has a diversified resource
base with the most efficient and least congested public port system in western
North America. A publicly operated Ridley Terminals is critical to that
vision.
    Our northern federal politicians, like the Honourable Jay Hill and his
supportive federal and provincial counterparts, clearly understand the
importance of the public sector's involvement in Ridley Terminals. We believe
that the next phase of growth of the Port of Prince Rupert should envelop
Ridley Terminals to make it the premier public port on the west coast of North
America. The efficient and effective operation that Chief Executive Officer
Don Krusel leads at the Port of Prince Rupert has gained the confidence of
communities and industry. The Port of Prince Rupert is a clear example of the
benefits of a public asset with judicious partnership and private investments.
    We agree with Pierre Gratton, Chief Executive Officer of the Mining
Association of BC, that there are obvious synergies and efficiencies between
the two ports. Our resource industries could play a partnership role ensuring
that Ridley Terminals operates on a not-for-profit basis that is focused on
delivering high quality, competitive service for northern economic interests
and re-investing to build on the strength of our economy.

    As northern leaders, we speak with one voice for the retention of Ridley
Terminals Inc. as a public asset.Mayor Larry White, District of Tumbler Ridge
    Mayor Carol Kulesha, Village of Queen Charlotte
    Mayor Cory Delves, Village of Port Clements
    Director Des Nobels, Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District
    Mayor Joanne Monaghan, District of Kitimat
    Mayor Evan Saugstad, District of Chetwynd
    President Karen Goodings, North Central Municipal Association
    Mayor Alice Maitland, Village of Hazelton
    Mayor Bernice Magee, Village of Burns Lake
    Director Bill Miller, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako
    Mayor Dan Rogers, City of Prince George
    Chair Art Kaehn, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George
    Mayor Bill Streeper, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality
    Chair Bruce Sutherland, Northern Development Initiative Trust
    Director Lita Powell, Northern Development Initiative Trust
    Mayor Stephanie Killam, District of Mackenzie
    Mayor Fred Jarvis, District of Taylor
    Mayor Carmen Graf, Village of Telkwa
    Director Arthur Hadland, Peace River Regional District
    Director Wayne Hiebert, Peace River Regional District
    Director Tim Caton, Peace River Regional District
    Councillor Lori Ackerman, City of Fort St. John
    Mayor Karen Anderson, District of Hudson's Hope
    Mayor Mike Bernier, City of Dawson Creek
    Mayor Bruce Lantz, City of Fort St. John
    Mayor Lyman Clark, Village of Pouce Coupe
    Mayor Jack Mussallem, City of Prince Rupert
    Mayor David Pernarowski, City of Terrace
    Mayor Angela Brand Danuser, District of Stewart
    Mayor Frederick Clark, Village of Granisle
    Mayor Dwayne Lindstrom, Village of Fraser Lake
    Mayor Mike Frazier, Village of McBride
    Chair Al Richmond, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Ted Armstrong, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Roberta Faust, Cariboo Regional District
    Director John Massier, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Deb Bischoff, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Steve Mazur, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Duncan Barnett, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Al Richmond, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Art Dumaresq, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Jim Glassford, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Alex Bracewell, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Rick Mumford, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Bruce Rattray, Cariboo Regional District
    Director Sue Zacharias, Cariboo Regional District
    Mayor Mary Sjostrom, City of Quesnel
    Mayor Mitch Campsall, District of 100 mile House
    Mayor Jay Vermette, District of Wells-------------------------------------------------------------------------
    About the Northern Development Initiative Trust

    Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent regional economic
development corporation focused on stimulating economic growth and job
creation in central and northern British Columbia. Over $46.4 million in
funding has been committed to 317 projects with a total project value of over
$306.4 million.
    For information on funding programs and economic development in central
and northern British Columbia, visit: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/.

    About the North Central Municipal Association

    The North Central Municipal Association is an association of local
governments whose mission is to address issues and to move forward initiatives
for the benefit of its members.
    For information on the North Central Municipal Association, visit:
http://ncma.enorthernbc.com/.



For further information: Media: Mayor Evan Saugstad, District of
Chetwynd, and Vice-Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust (250)
401-4102, (250) 788-5572 (cell), d-chet@gochetwynd.com