Wow, A Lot at Once: Free Trade, LNG, and Inflation.

The start of October has been a busy one! In just these two past day, we have seen Canada settles its trade deal with the Mexico and the United State of America, and right after that, the announcement of the 40 billion LNG project for British Columbia. All of this leading to our local “Think Tank” saying that inflation is going to hit hard in the coming months now that prosperity is shinning through the mist, down the path. Of course, the North Coast is very familiar with the boom and bust cycle, so know is surprised–just look at the speculators are doing.

It was good news that Canada has signed the free trade deal with the other two North American countries. A lot of industry around these parts rely on trade with the US. We are like a Banana Republic, no one wants our finished goods, but sure as heck, our natural resources. Everything from fish to lumber, with a little bit of gold on top, get stripped away, and sent off down South. But, any how, our jobs will continue, and with it, the cost of our goods in the store will not be terribly over priced. Yes, I prefer shopping over at China, than our southern markets. But they say, (the Think Tank) that we will see inflation locally rise around 4 per cent over the next sixteen months. Yes, they somehow figured this out, not in terms of years, but nice round numbers over the course of months. Go figure.

The LNG project seems to be a done deal. Of course, around here, in the Skeena Valley, it is a “When I see it, then I’ll believe it,” attitude, which is the most common opinion. When they announced that “ten thousand jobs” would be created, I heard a lot of muffled, “Bull Shit,” being hurled. I guess from the last great mega project of the North Coast, that fell far short on their promises of prosperity lasting throughout the decades. So we wait–as anything can happy between now and the ends of time. But no doubt, we should start seeing the influx of people move in the area, hoping to catch that three year construction job that would hopefully pay off all the bill, pop-up. Which leads into my next rant, inflation.

Yes, all of this awesome news will spell out two probabilities. First, inflation will rise faster than normal in the area. Second, more locals will be displaced as a result of this. With jobs and the lure of new money in the local economy, comes rising real estate prices, trickling down to higher rents, and hyper low vacancy levels. This should completely kick out any hopes of affordable housing to the masses who need it. The (Think Tank) predictions are that by 2020, the effects of LNG on the area should increase homelessness by five per cent. I think that is a very conservative estimate, for the Skeena valley, but the (Think Tank) stresses that these are based the last mega project, and its effect over a five year period. But on the bright side, if you are one of the lucky one, and sang one of these supposed awesome jobs, then you are “golden.” You will live in prosperity, and can say, “Bonus”!

The Think Tank, are local group of some fifteen residence in Thornhill, BC, that comprise of aboriginal, and non-aboriginal, employed and unemployed, men and women, all younger than fifty years of age (between 20 to 50 years of age). These debates are held at random times, and have no set moderation or agendas, so topics are brought up at the participant’s request.

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