Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction has said that “This project has done something extraordinary. It prepared people for a bright future, while focusing on B.C.’s rich past,” . “Cannery jobs have been lost in the area, so projects like this help British Columbians find new opportunities and keep people in their communities.”

Twenty-three people have gained valuable skills and contributed to their community by working on a project that brings the past to the present.

In restoring the North Pacific Cannery Site, the team members have earned apprenticeship hours in carpentry and construction craft work, to be better positioned in the workforce.

Over the course of the government-funded project, which wraps up this month, participants have gained experience in carpentry, marine construction and heavy construction. They have helped complete docks, make structural repairs to buildings, build benches and more.

The North Pacific Cannery, a National Historic Site, was the longest-running cannery in British Columbia history and has been part of the Port Edward landscape since the late 1800s. The site, which is open to tourists annually from May 1 to Oct. 1, has 29 historic buildings connected by raised wooden boardwalks.

The historic site is a piece of local history for locals to enjoy and is also a draw for visitors to the area, due to its historic designation.

“As the North Coast continues to diversify its economy, to remain viable and strong, we need to be sure that our citizens are trained and have construction work experience,” said Jennifer Rice, North Coast MLA, who attended a wrap-up and hiring event at the historic site. “It’s through projects like the restoration of the North Pacific Cannery that people of the North Coast have received valuable skills, apprenticeship hours and the confidence to face a diversified economic future.”

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction provided $237,000 in funding for this project through the Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program. CEP supports communities, stakeholders and employers with job creation, economic growth, positive social impacts, increased employment opportunities and outcomes for unemployed British Columbians.