Aug 28 2012
Posted by CHLY News as BC, Campbell River, Chemainus, Courtenay / Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Gabriola Island, Government, Lake Cowichan, Nanaimo, News & Updates, Parksville, Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, Victoria |
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August 28, 2012, Victoria - Long-term economic vitality in BC can be achieved by using smart economic incentives. These incentives are meant to diversify and invigorate local industries through tax relief within a sustainable economy.
“The BC Government needs to step up and provide leadership in forming partnerships based on smart incentives that will drive and promote the demand for a sustainable economy,” says Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC. “BC can learn for other jurisdictions.”
The Department of Economic and Community development in Connecticut recognized the importance of shifting to a green economy. As a result the State has partnered with Sustainable Building Systems Company, LLC which will produce sustainable building panels. What is special about this partnership is that State participation is predicated on creating new jobs and stimulating a green construction industry. For the company, the incentive could mean that the majority of the loan will not have to be paid back if the job targets are met.
“Connecticut is focusing on creating long term employment in a sustainable industry,” continues Sterk. “This isn’t just about the 408 jobs that will result from the $19.1M State loan. It’s about all the periphery jobs that will be created and the income tax and sales tax that will be generated by having people employed. This is an example of a smart economic incentive.”
Smart incentives can help the economy and, at the same time, address climate change by reducing energy needs. Thanks to a tax incentive plan, a company from Prince Edward Island called Reneu Energy recently formed a partnership in Florida with the community of Lake Wales. Reneu manufactures LED based street lamps that use only 25 per cent of the electricity used by traditional halogen street lamps. As part of the partnership, Reneu agreed to move the production of the lights to Lake Wales. Economic Development Director Harold Gallup has calculated that the energy savings will pay for the project in the span of seven years and the project will create jobs equal to $ 3.2 million in annual payroll.
“It’s a shame that PEI has lost this business to Lake Wales, Florida but it’s understandable that businesses will go where they can be profitable and where the community makes it attractive to do business,” comments Sterk. “Responsible use of incentives could be used to entice manufacturers of green technologies to come to BC.
“One area we could focus on is incentives for wind power. Wind is a sustainable industry that can create long-term employment in local communities. This kind of energy production could also create skilled jobs in remote communities.”
Currently The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) has identified 121 onshore wind energy sites spread in five regions of BC. CANWEA has identified “cost-competitive generation”, “community benefits” and “low environmental impacts” as reasons for BC to consider wind energy differently.
“There is potential for growth of sustainable business and employment across the Province if the government is willing to look at using smart incentives to attract new industries and manufacturing and to help establish beneficial industries like wind, “ concludes Sterk.
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