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Clark talks jobs, rural development; first major party leader to visit the North

BC Liberal leader Christy Clark visited Prince George Friday night, mingling with supporters and voters, while addressing the concerns she’s heard from the region.

She concluded a full day on the campaign trail through the Northern capital, as well as the Cariboo, emphasizing talks about jobs and rural development.

She calls Northern BC the “backbone” of the province’s job economy, but says current low commodity prices are preventing bigger breakthroughs.

“We’re in one of those economic cycles that’s always tough for the North. We know you guys are going to make a big contribution as you always do, but we want to make sure people could stay here, live here, and work here until we get to that point.”

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Clark adds it’s a priority of hers to bridge the gap between communities until prices bounce back, which includes dealing with the softwood lumber dispute.

The Premier also expanded on what she calls “Rural Tech Hubs” for rural areas, which she introduced prior to the election.

Few details were initially released, but Clark says it’s all part of the rural economic development strategy, which she adds is another top item on her list.

“Part of it is connecting all of the communities across the province. That’s a multimillion-dollar plan; we haven’t mapped out exactly where, and obviously it will be an upgrade to the region here, but all of that mapping is still being done right now.”

She says the hubs will create more than 26,000 jobs across Northern BC.

Clark also raised her voice on the fact she’s the only major party leader to travel north of the 50th parallel and replied it’s important to her to visit every corner of the province.

She claims NDP leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver don’t understand the region as much as she does.

“I’m going to those places because they are all so vital to our economy. Vancouver is the biggest lumber town in the province and we need to connect people with the resource economy that feeds us no matter where we live.”

She told My Prince George Now that a return to Prince George is on the agenda before election day, set for May 9th.

The Premier was joined by fellow Liberal candidates Shirley Bond, Mike Morris, and John Rustad.


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