Port Related Jobs on the Rise in Northern BC

Brittany Webster

The Prince Rupert Port Authority released a study today showing the number of jobs associated with port operations has climbed by one thousand in the past two years.

The 2018 Economic Impact Study says businesses and organizations involved in port-related activities have created 3600 full-time equivalent jobs since 2016, while another 2600 jobs were generated by the contracted services and supplies needed by those businesses.

Ken Veldman, Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability, calls the job surge remarkable as the port authority has less than 100 staff itself and the jump cannot be attributed to a single business.

"It's rail, it's trucking companies, it's a variety of terminals, a variety of different agencies that provide services in the water, as well as government inspection agencies like CBSA and coast guard that are a big part of that as well. So it's very much a diversified number of employers and a diversified amount of cargo that provides that employment number."

The port says while many of those 6200 jobs are in the Prince Rupert area, thousands of men and women in other communities are also earning paycheques thanks to the port's activities. 

Veldman says that increased volume at the port by more than 40% is a major contributing factor to the growth in employment, making note of the increased value of trade volume from 35 to 50 billion dollars.

"Rupert is now the third largest port in Canada and that's something that we can all be proud of. And the reason that we have done so well are the women and men who work so hard and make that cargo competitive as it moves through this gateway to international destinations."

The study says the port also generated over $125 million annually in tax revenues for all levels of government. 

The federal and BC governments took in most of that money, but the port study says local government also raked in $9.3 million in property taxes from Port Authority lands. 

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