he Stuart Nechako communities are diverse, inviting and open for business. The area continues to support and encourage its forest, agriculture, mining, service and tourism sectors. Commercial service, secondary industries, construction, transportation and eco-and cultural tourism are leading-edge areas that are particularly suited for the Stuart Nechako Region with its wealth of natural resources, cultural diversity and skilled work force. Home-based employment is a growing presence, as is the profile of remote lodge tourism products.
All categories of housing are less expensive than in all parts of the province. The school district is the largest employer, and though our small communities have excellent access to local post-secondary education through The College of New Caledonia and is only one hour away from the University of Northern British Columbia. The communities embrace and enjoy a vibrant recreation scene and large, well-kept green spaces.
The main tourism potential lies in the vast range of outdoor opportunities possible on the relatively accessible Nechako Plateau with its almost 1,000 fish-bearing lakes and streams. In 2004, the forest recreation sites saw 22,000 user days and many locals have recreation properties or homes on nearby lakes.
Quality of life is considered high in the district for reasons of access to affordability of recreation property, experiences and opportunities. The communities continue to look for and implement ways in which to enhance economic stability further by improving quality of life with long-term views of enhancing community infrastructure, the arts community, downtown revitalization, partnering with neighboring communities and providing access to entrepreneurial leadership.
British Columbia continues to be a leader in the country’s growth for the second year in a row. Second only to Alberta, British Columbia’s real economic growth is forecast for 3.5 per cent in 2005 and 3.2 per cent in 2006. British Columbia leads the country in job creation with 205,600 jobs created since December 2001. Preliminary figures show British Columbia led the country in investment growth in 2004. As well, British Columbia business confidence is at an all-time high and ahead of the national average with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business reporting that small and medium business continue to be the most optimistic in the country. In recent months, British Columbia’s unemployment rate has fallen, to levels not seen since 1981, by half a percentage point to 6.5 per cent in March 2005.
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