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Port Development Forecasted to Employ Thousands More as Prince Rupert Capitalizes on Status As Global Community


PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The Port of Prince Rupert today released a study projecting that its fully-realized development plan could generate almost 5,000 new jobs in northern British Columbia directly related to port activity, with corresponding increases in wages and government tax revenues.

Using a model derived from project proposals and land use plans, the forecast quantifies the potential growth of the port’s economic impact through 2025 and beyond. The model makes assumptions for capital investments, average employment levels and wages.

The full buildout of the Port of Prince Rupert’s planned infrastructure and terminals is predicted potentially to generate the following incremental economic impacts:

  • an increase of 4,780 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs directly related to port activity
  • $310 million annually in additional wages
  • $59 million annually in additional local municipal taxes for the City of Prince Rupert and the District of Port Edward
  • $178 million annually in combined taxes to all levels of government
  • $400 million annually in additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Canada

In addition to the sustained economic benefits of planned infrastructure and terminals, their construction could provide as many as 26,000 person years of employment, $1.7 billion in wages and over $2 billion in GDP.

“The vision of Prince Rupert as a leading North American trade gateway builds on our strengths and our track record,” said Don Krusel, President & CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert. “The question is, can we achieve it?  We believe we can, but it’s going to take a vision that aligns the priorities, efforts and investments of local communities and First Nations with the economic opportunities that are presented.”

The Port of Prince Rupert’s development plan guides its growth into a diversified and sustainable global trade gateway in a manner that minimizes congestion of its operations, limits community conflict with industrial land use, and mitigates marine and environmental impacts. 

"The City of Prince Rupert is looking to the future with renewed optimism as we see even greater opportunities to become a truly global port city," said City of Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain. "Along with protecting our natural environment and improving quality of life for residents, one of the five points of our Hays 2.0 vision is about supporting sustainable economic growth and diversification for Prince Rupert like that planned by the Port. We are pleased to see their plans coming to fruition, and what that will mean for our community."

Current and proposed developments on port lands at Fairview Container Terminal, the Ridley Island Industrial Site and Lelu Island have the potential to create an integrated platform for shipping with the capacity to transport over 100 million tonnes of cargo annually.

District of Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald said, “The potential for our corner of British Columbia to facilitate this level of trade is remarkable, and something we collectively welcome and are actively preparing for. The availability of new jobs close to home will reduce the number of residents who have to leave the region to find work.”

“Our community has seen tremendous benefit from the past and current development of the Port, and we look forward to contributing to the immediate build-out and long-term operation of these important pieces of Canadian infrastructure,” said Harold Leighton, Chief of the Metlakatla Nation.

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Michael Gurney
Manager, Corporate Communications
Prince Rupert Port Authority
Direct: 250 627-2509




About the Forecast

The Port of Prince Rupert’s Economic Impact of Capital Expansion Plans forecasts potential economic benefits from current and proposed projects which are part of the port’s development plan. 

As laid out in the Port’s 2010 Land Use Plan, those projects could include expansion of facilities for intermodal, bulk and breakbulk cargoes, exceeding $20 billion in total capital costs.

The study’s forecast is based on the following collection of projects. Some of these projects are currently under construction, development or investigation. Others are speculative, with parameters informed by the port’s long-term vision and proponents’ plans.

  • Container terminal expansion
  • Export logistics park construction
  • Import logistics park construction
  • Coal terminal expansion
  • Two LNG terminal constructions
  • Dry and/or liquid bulk terminal construction
  • Breakbulk terminal construction
  • Minibulk/breakbulk/project cargo terminal construction

Economic Impact: Ongoing Impact and Projected Increases 

An economic impact study released in January 2015 documented ongoing economic impacts of Prince Rupert’s gateway industry in British Columbia.

Economic impact aggregates are categorized as direct, indirect or induced. Direct impact is generated by port and port-related businesses. Indirect impact is generated by industries that supply and support the port business. Induced impact refers to the impact of employees spending in the community.

The study indicated that 3,060 full-time jobs presently exist which are directly related to port activity, generating wages of $200 million. When considering direct, indirect and induced employment, Prince Rupert’s port business is related to 5,840 person years of employment annually.

With the addition of the potential economic impacts calculated in the subject forecast, the full development of the Port of Prince Rupert could result in excess of 14,000 jobs in British Columbia—of which close to 8,000 are directly related to port and port-related businesses. Furthermore, at full buildout of the projects under consideration in the port’s development plan, the total economic output could top $2.7 billion.

Type of Impact

(Person Years)

($ Million)
($ Million)
Economic Output
($ Million)
Economic Impacts of Current Port Business, Annual Operations
Direct 3,060 $200 $390 $740
Indirect 1,710 $100 $160 $300
Induced 1,070 $130 $130 $200
Total Current 5,840 $430 $680 $1,240
Potential Economic Impacts of Planned Developments, Annual Operations
Direct 4,780 $310 $400 $820
Indirect 2,090 $120 $190 $360
Induced 1,580 $80 $190 $290
Total Potential 8,450 $510 $780 $1,470
TOTAL: Current & Potential Impacts 14,290 $940 $1,460 $2,710

Taxation Benefits

Once fully developed, the annual operations of the proposed expansion projects at the port would also contribute to government revenues. Tax revenues to the different levels of government paid by employers and employees include income and payroll taxes and social insurance contributions (such as employment insurance premiums). Payments in lieu of taxes paid by the Port and property taxes paid by tenants to the municipal government are also estimated. 

The study forecasts an incremental increase of $59 million annually to the municipalities of Prince Rupert and Port Edward, with corresponding significant increases received by provincial and federal governments.

At full buildout of the port’s development plan, revenues to federal, provincial and municipal levels of government could exceed $258 million per year.

Government Taxes ($ million)
Current Annual Port Tax Revenues
Municipal (Prince Rupert & Port Edward) $6.4
Provincial $20.8
Federal $53.6
Total Current Port Tax Revenues $80.8
Potential Annual Port Tax Revenues
Municipal (Prince Rupert & Port Edward) $59
Provincial $33
Federal $86
Total Potential Port Tax Revenues $178
TOTAL: Current & Potential Port Tax $258.8

Economic Impacts of Construction

The development stages of the expansion projects also generate impacts to the provincial economy, related to the construction of infrastructure, which include jobs such as architects, plumbers, electricians, project managers, and engineers. There are also other requirements needed to develop infrastructure, such as materials, machinery and equipment.

Over the 12-year infrastructure development time period, capital investment in British Columbia from the expansion projects support direct employment of 26,360 person years, with direct wages of $1.8 billion. Additionally, infrastructure projects may contribute $2.2 billion in direct GDP and $5.2 in direct economic output to the province’s economy, based on goods and services purchased during the entire construction period.

About the Port’s Development Plan

The Port administers a large geographic area that includes approximately 1,000 hectares of federal crown land for terminal-related development, as well as an associated harbour and coastline.

The Port of Prince Rupert’s development plan guides its operations and planned expansion to ensure development of a sustainable, diversified, global port.

The port’s development plan entails the development of port land at Fairview Container Terminal, the Ridley Island Industrial Site, and Lelu Island into an integrated trade gateway with the capacity to ship over 100 million tonnes of cargo annually. 

It leverages common use infrastructure like Ridley Island’s Road, Rail and Utility Corridor to maximize the development opportunity for large terminals within the port. It also prioritizes opportunity for expansion in the Port’s intermodal activities and services and integrates them into the broader development.

The plan is designed to minimize gateway congestion, land use and community conflicts, as well as marine and environmental impacts.