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Image: Adam Roy. Terrace, BC

For a long time, the city of Prince Rupert, BC has been anticipating the arrival of the liquid nitrogen gas (LNG) industry for revitalizing their local economy. The port city is expected to be the exit point of oil and gas coming from Alberta and being exported to the big Asian markets. With the prospect of this large infrastructure project, several oil and gas companies have already invested large amounts of time and money in preparatory studies and ground evaluations, while real estate investors show interest, and different brands of consultants fly in and out to perform services ranging from geological and ecological assessments, to workforce and real estate mapping. In Prince Rupert, pre-construction work has reinforced the perception of unavoidability. Companies opened up shop in town to tout the benefits of future projects, to organize information sessions and visioning workshops. Many residents don’t question the viability of the overall LNG project — they see the early activities and believe it’s just a matter of time before the pipelines start arriving. Local preparations have therefore already begun, with individuals and other governance actors discussing where work camps should be placed, strategizing how health, recreation, and other types of infrastructure can be organized, and making personal decisions on living, working, studying, and investing.

Cost of living in Terrace BC, as in Prince Rupert, BC has increased dramatically in recent years due to speculation. The promised arrival of new industries, including an Alcan aluminum plant, hydro lines, and liquid natural gas (LNG) production, have caused a housing market boom, despite delivering no tangible results to date. Housing is in short supply, having been quickly scooped up following the news of potential development. As a consequence, there is also little rental space, and lease rates are inflated. Many tenants, primarily low-income segments of the population, have been pushed out. Other studies of Terrace point to the important economic link between the city’s growth and its service industry, while the described speculation has sharpened the issue. Part II: Boom/Bust: A real introduction

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Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

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