THE economy and job creation are clearly on the minds of both our provincial and federal governments.
Premier Christy Clark spent much of last week in a dance of the seven veils, revealing each day a little bit more of what she dubbed Canada Starts Here: The B.C. Jobs Plan.
There were several tantalizing speeches, but not a lot of substance beyond a clear commitment to fasttrack future mining in the province and to build previously promised liquefied natural gas terminals in Kitimat.
New mines will offer some new jobs, certainly, but absent from the announcements were any innovative initiatives that might create homegrown industries. What is it about the British Columbian mentality that sees this province content to be a provider of raw resources to the rest of the world?
Could we not manage to create more added value to our lumber before shipping it away to the United States?
Could we not pick a burgeoning industry and create incentives within it to put more young people to work? Why could we not be a world leader in solar technology? What if incentives created the need for thousands of trained installers? Young people would be working - and spending - while the province saved energy.
It's no different federally. In Ottawa, the image of Alberta's oilsands industry is undergoing a huge facelift to make it more palatable to the rest of the world. Whether the PR campaign succeeds or not, the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico is exporting bitumen, not refined crude.