April 12, 2024

FDI Forum

Earn the right Invest

Viewpoint: Now is the time to spend in the foreseeable future of BC, the Fraser Valley

Penned for Every day Hive Urbanized by Alex Mitchell, the CEO of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Fraser Valley Business Coalition.


As the big population centre of our province, the Metro Vancouver place will get (and warrants) a lot of attention and investment. But we are starting to see the substantial restrictions of the area: housing crisis, deficiency of industrial land, basic affordability, and shortages of offered labour.

The fantastic news? The neighbouring Fraser Valley is hiding in basic watch as a viable option to many of these difficulties. The time has occur for our region to move off the sidelines and unleash its possible onto the taking part in discipline. The company community stands at the all set and keen to press into this prospect, and it is our organization belief that a surge in investments and decisive policies from the Govt of British Columbia will speed up our collective journey toward this eyesight.

Let’s take industrial land. A research commissioned by the Larger Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT) and the Vancouver Chapter of the Industrial Authentic Estate Enhancement Association highlights the grave implications that a developing lack of industrial land is previously owning: regional land prices have tripled above the last 5 decades, with the common price tag per acre now six instances bigger in Metro Vancouver than in Seattle or Calgary.

So, wherever can we seem for much more options for industrial land? The Fraser Valley. In actuality, in that identical GVBOT study, NAOIP Vancouver mentioned, “Priority requirements to be positioned on the addition of additional industrial lands to Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley to continue to help the movement of foods and merchandise and to make and maintain careers in our area.” Abbotsford on your own has about 3,000 acres of industrial zone land, a person US Border crossing and an worldwide airport.

The Fraser Valley is by now a vital section of our province’s offer chain and the amount one driver of Canada’s food safety. The atmospheric river in November 2021 highlighted the strategic value of the Fraser Valley when the devastating floods halted the motion of merchandise and delivered a $16.3 billion hit to the GDP. Guaranteeing products like grain, dairy, and poultry arrive at the port for export and to the shelves of grocery stores across our province is not only essential to our economy but also to our food stuff security.

Much of our food items is currently being grown in the Fraser Valley, recognised globally as the most productive agricultural land in Canada, making $3.83 billion of economic activity every single 12 months, according to the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce’s report. With the optimum gross farm receipts in the region, Canada’s food items protection is contingent on Abbotsford — we need to make sure that vital infrastructure is managed and is resilient to the impacts of local climate adjust, in the long run speaking to the paramount want for new investments in flood mitigation infrastructure.

We are ever more a centre of sophisticated agri-tech with businesses like Vitalus Diet Inc., which is disrupting the Canadian Dairy marketplace Westgen, Western Canada’s leader in genetics and copy Aright Greentech specializing in vertical farming and BW World furnishing innovation remedies to world wide foodstuff and h2o problems, just to identify a number of.

And we have the rising population to help the non-public-sector operations that are fuelling the regional economic climate. Our expected population progress of 47 % by 2050 will proceed to carry proficient staff to fill the open positions that we see in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and aerospace.

It’s time to commit in the Fraser Valley

The Fraser Valley has all the setting up blocks for a prosperous foreseeable future for our province. But if we want to attain our legitimate economic possible, we should act now.

We need the provincial govt to phase up. Historically, the Fraser Valley has not been a precedence when it arrives to community-sector financial investment. That demands to improve. It is time for governing administration to sign up for the organization group and commit to building the Fraser Valley an beautiful financial investment choice for big and compact enterprises alike.

Very important first measures that government could — and ought to — acquire are speeding up freeway growth, producing interchanges that unlock the improvement of lands by the highway, and developing a transportation and infrastructure program that contains enhanced funding for flood mitigation to prepare for the upcoming normal disaster. And government support should not quit there. Extra support ought to occur in the sort of examining and releasing poorly zoned agricultural land to be leveraged for ag-industrial, establishing the housing we will need to preserve our young ones and grandkids in the area, and investing in the region’s fair share of infrastructure and companies like hospitals and faculties.

Current provincial housing bills this kind of as Invoice 44, the Housing Statutes (Residential Advancement) Modification Act, have illustrated how swiftly and decisively federal government can act when inspired. The company group is completely ready and prepared to act — but only the provincial governing administration can make the required coverage adjustments and infrastructure investments.

But we have a position to enjoy below as perfectly: the Fraser Valley needs a bold vision to placement it as BC’s upcoming financial hub. To draw in expenditure, it requires to be actively promoted, with anyone functioning to this objective.

The Fraser Valley Business Coalition

That is why the Chambers of Commerce in Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack and Mission have come alongside one another to type the Fraser Valley Business Coalition.

As companies symbolizing in excess of 5,000 businesses across the region, our do the job will articulate the “art of the possible” for the Fraser Valley. BC has an prospect for its corporations and people to prosper in this area, but everybody should get the job done jointly to understand this vision.

As a key action in the direction of this intention, the Coalition is web hosting the inaugural Fraser Valley Economic Summit on April 16 at the University of the Fraser Valley. The Coalition will share a lot more information about its options and initiatives, explore its proposed vision for the foreseeable future of the Fraser Valley, showcase illustrations of impactful economic growth from across BC, and highlight the regional leaders who are driving adjust.

The Fraser Valley has in no way been frightened of tricky do the job and is ready to do the heavy lifting to seize this second for the gain of all British Columbians. But the genuine problem is regardless of whether or not the provincial government will come to the desk to guidance this progress.

This location is going to be taking part in a crucial part in the future election and numerous candidates’ political potential may perhaps depend on their help of the Fraser Valley. Let us come together to construct a stronger BC by investing in the potential of the Fraser Valley.