Sneaking a peek to the future generation

Dr. Greg Halseth of UNBC talks about the future needs of northern communities, post-construction booms.

Dr. Greg Halseth hasn’t only been looking at how work camps impact their host communities, but on what changes communities will face heading into the future.

And he thinks he has it pretty well nailed down.

The three phases of economic restructuring begins with the construction, a cycle of about three or four years for any specific project.

Naturally that includes the workers on high rotations, and people who move around the world for work.

“Lots of people, lots of rotation.”

From there it goes into the operations phase, which will see a drastic reduction in people.

He said there are cases of up to 3,000 construction workers, dropping to just 40 people in the operations phase for certain projects.

But it’s not a given those people will live in town.

“If the community doesn’t re-tool itself and have the amenities that attracts these workers, they might engage in long-term commuting,” he said.

The topic around that will last about a decade after construction, until the third change, when the latter half of the Baby Boomers will start mass retirement.

“We have to be attentive to what the next generation work force is looking for,” adding that communities in the north typically have it good with those attractions, such as a clean environment, a safe family community and a place they can connect.

“One of the hallmarks seem to be since the next generation work force is smaller numerically than the baby boomers, they’re not worried about work, they know there’s going to be work, so they pick places they want to live,” said Halseth.

So the trick for any community is to leverage construction to change the community to have the amenities they need.

Communities of note, he said, include Chetwynd, who used a work camp to help develop their water and sewer lines towards their airport.

“The challenge is you have to be thinking of that ahead of time, and sometimes for communities these projects can occur too quickly, they weren’t really ready for them…this is the advantage that Kitimat has, that all the preparation that went into the RTA rebuild, and now the experience of it, they’re in a much better place to think about how they might work with any other projects that may come to town.”

Just Posted

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

North Coast fishing grounds key to orca recovery: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Chris Green, mother of scouts, passes away

Green, who was born near Kitimat, spent more than 60 years volunteering with Scouts Canada

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Alberta man missing on Kitimat River found dead

Body found on July 11 after going missing on July 7

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

Cougar shot near B.C. marina

Police were called to complaints of a cougar climbing through boats and sheds at the Nanaimo Yacht Club

Most Read