The Port Alberni Port Authority has undertaken a study of its economic impact in the region in an attempt to underscore the value that investment in it can generate.
“When we’re speaking with provincially elected officials and at the federal level, to have those types of real economic numbers when we talk about the larger investments we want to make helps give us legitimacy and credibility as an economic driver,” said PAPA director of public relations and business development Dave McCormick.
The port authority undertook a similar study back in 2012 that found its total direct, indirect and induced economic output to be $492 million in 2012. That figure includes the “impacts of ongoing operations at PAPA and ships’ crew spending at Port Alberni.”
With recent developments like the attraction of CanTimber, Pacific Seaplanes, a partnership between Hub City and the Tseshaht First Nation and attracting at least a monthly lumber shipment from Western Forest Products, McCormick said that it was time for a new study.
Demonstrating the port’s ability to maximise investments despite its small size is important, McCormick added.
“When we’re asking tax payers to make investments in port projects, that ask is given greater weight with the knowledge behind it that with the resources that we have—that are quite small—we’re making a relatively proportionately large impact in our region.”
PAPA has contracted with Vancouver-based Operations Economic Inc. (OEI) to undertake the current study. OEI will be sending an economic survey to select regional businesses that have been identified as being economically impacted by the existence of port services and operations.