[Written as Ignite Fredericton’s Business Intelligence Coordinator]
What is the Natural Resources Task Force and why was it created?
The Natural Resources Task Force is an initiative of Ignite Fredericton as the catalyst for the region’s Vision2020 economic development strategy. The task force brings the community’s strategic partners operating in or around the natural resources sector together to best prepare the Fredericton region to harness the economic opportunities associated with near and long term natural resource projects. These include, but are not limited to, the Sisson Mine, the TransCanada East Energy Pipeline and upcoming initiatives in the New Brunswick forestry sector. This is accomplished through project proponents communicating updates and needs to the task force, who can then plan their services and program offerings accordingly to best prepare the region’s people and business to skill up for jobs, connect with supply chains, create a clustering environment to attract foreign direct investment to the region and spur growth of new startups.
Who sits on the task force?
- Ignite Fredericton Board Representative (Andrew Steeves, Task Force Chair)
- Ignite Fredericton
- City of Fredericton
- Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
- Sisson Partnership
- Technology Management and Entrepreneurship Program, UNB
- Opportunities New Brunswick
- Postsecondary Education, Training & Labour, GNB
- Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
- Forest NB
- Engineers & Geoscientists NB
- Downtown Fredericton Inc.
- Business Fredericton North
- Joint Economic Development Initiative
- Association of Consulting Engineering Companies New Brunswick
What is the mandate of the task force?
Ignite Fredericton’s Natural Resource Task Force exists to leverage and cultivate economic growth and create jobs through responsible natural resource development as it relates to near and longterm projects in the Fredericton Region.
How does this benefit the Fredericton Region’s people?
With the creation of the task force, there is more communication between those organizing the region’s natural resource projects and those helping businesses and individuals to prepare for those projects. Whether it’s academic institutions graduating individuals with the proper requirements or connecting local businesses with contract opportunities, the goal of the task force is to better serve the region’s economic activity. The more we develop our skills around natural resources, the stronger our workforce will be. Skills and experience are foundational to our export capabilities and that of capturing global market opportunities.
How many people are employed by natural resources in the Fredericton Region?
The Fredericton Region’s natural resource sector is responsible for 5,000 jobs across a variety of projects, employing 10 per cent of the region’s workforce.
What are the potential energy infrastructure & natural resource investments for New Brunswick?
How much money has been invested and how many new jobs can be attributed to the province’s near term natural resource projects?
With respect to the near term projects (Sisson Brook Mine, Energy East Pipeline, forestry projects), it is estimated that over $50 million has already been invested, with 300 jobs created in the province. As projects develop further, job creation and investment will be more visible within the Fredericton Region.
What if the projects are deemed unsafe?
As fellow New Brunswickers, the Natural Resource Task Force is committed to responsible and sustainable natural resource development in the province. The role of the task force is to best prepare the people of the Fredericton region for the opportunities being presented to them. Safe, responsible natural resource development is a top priority of the task force and we trust the province’s regulatory bodies and project assessments to only proceed with opportunities that are such.
Responsible environmental practices and sustainability are preconditions for business support. There are risks to any activity, the question is how to measure and regulate them there is no business case if risks are not reasonable and/or can not be adequately mitigated. When it comes to providing opinions on the inherent or regulated risks associated with any particular activity, such would fall outside of our mandate as a task force. We strongly believe in our region’s innovative businesses and know that if issues arise, some of the best solutions will come from within our own community.
What Fredericton companies are operating in the natural resource sector?
Fredericton has a number of mature companies and startups working to improve the way we save energy, increase efficiency and find sustainable solutions in the natural resource sector including