VANCOUVER, B.C. – The results are in for the inaugural BC Natural Resources Survey conducted by the BC Chamber of Commerce, C3 Alliance Corp., and research company Abacus Data.
According to the survey, one of the key findings is that British Columbians recognize the integral role natural resources play in driving the provincial economy and support increased investment in the sector to encourage sustainable resource development.
The on-line survey was offered from November 14, 2019, to January 10, 2020, using the BC Chamber’s business insight platform BCMindreader.com The survey was designed to gauge public perceptions on natural resource development, growth prospects for various business sectors, obstacles holding back resource expansion and ideas for sustainable development, among other issues.
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According to the BC Chamber, more than 1,000 individuals responded to the survey, representing a broad cross-section of British Columbians comprising a healthy mix of income and education levels, geographic regions, and spanning diverse political affiliations. Half of respondents had no ties to the resource sector, while the other half either worked in natural resources or had a family member or acquaintance affiliated with the sector.
Among the survey findings:
- 55% of respondents said natural resources were crucial to the BC economy, while another 43% considered them very important.
- 86% of people either strongly agreed or agreed that a strong resource sector helps create a vibrant economic base in BC on which we can grow other parts of the economy.
- A majority of respondents (81%) acknowledged that revenue from natural resources helps pay for provincial social programs such as health care and education.
- 75% of people agreed that the provincial government should encourage more investment in BC’s natural resource sector.
“We undertook this research project to get a better sense of how British Columbians felt about the province’s economic drivers,” said Sarah Weber, President and CEO, C3 Alliance Corp. “Clearly, BC residents understand the important contribution of natural resources to their economic well being. Even among individuals who are not connected to the sector, there’s a deep appreciation for the role natural resources play in driving BC’s prosperity.”
“What we’re seeing is broad-based support for responsible resource development by British Columbians,” said Val Litwin, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “BC’s reliance on clean hydroelectricity gives our resource sector a distinct low-carbon advantage compared to other international jurisdictions. This is a key selling point that we should be marketing aggressively to help grow our economic base.”
The Chamber goes on to share, the majority of respondents are proud of BC’s natural resource sector, acknowledging that participating companies offer well-paying, highly skilled jobs, are environmentally thoughtful, well run, technologically advanced and innovative. Sixty-five percent of British Columbians said they would encourage young people to work in natural resources.
British Columbians believe measures must be taken to improve economic prospects for the natural resources industry including; promoting innovation, positioning BC as a leader in low-carbon resource products and identifying and building markets for sustainably produced products.
To access the full survey report, CLICK HERE