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Clark gives 'jobs plan' overview

Premier Christy Clark gave an overview of her Canada Starts Here jobs plan to the Vancouver Board of Trade today and announced money for Deltaport and offices to promote economic development and increase First Nations participation in the economy.

"The spending commitments we're making are pretty modest, and I'm proud of that," Clark said today in a speech that stressed it is the private sector's role to create jobs. "Sometimes government needs to get out of the way," she said.

The speech followed three days of announcements that have included a goal of doubling the number of international students coming to British Columbia, supporting small business and increasing trade with Asian countries.

Today's speech highlighted:

* $50 million to improve the provincially owned railway tracks to Deltaport, part of a $200 million expansion the government says will add 600 to 800 jobs;

* $24 million to reduce the time it takes to get approvals and permits for natural resource development;

* Support for building eight new mines and expanding nine others, which the government says will add 1,800 new jobs in the sector;

* Creating a major investments office "that will work with investors proposing significant projects in B.C. to co-ordinate and accelerate government's activities to support them."

* Creating a BC Jobs and Investment Board "to promote economic development by promoting investment opportunities and identifying any issues and processes that may be limiting that investment."

* Creating an Aboriginal Business and Investment Council "to enhance Aboriginal people's capacity for economic participation, transcend traditional Aboriginal and industry silos in project planning and development and provide investors with the tools they need to engage and partner with B.C. First Nations."

The government also launched a new website with information for employers, job seekers and possible investors.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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