Wood Innovation Centre: Next Good News Story

Posted by Rumin Mann
March 4th, 2011

B.C.’s Forests, Lands, and Mines Minister, Pat Bell, says he expects the long-talked about Wood Innovation Design Centre to be the next good news story for the city and region…

Speaking on the Meisner program on 93.1 CFIS FM this morning, the local MLA says, “I think we’re getting our ducks lined up, and now that we’ve got a new Premier, we can get moving on this thing and it will be the next great news story for Prince George, right behind the cancer clinic.”

“As we move through to the end of the year, it’s going to be a priority,” says Bell.  “It’s in Christy’s platform – very clearly articulated there – Shirley and I have done lots of work on it and we’ve got a variety of options to take forward, so I think, hopefully, in the next six or eight weeks we’ll be able to present that to Treasury Board…and to Cabinet and get it into the mix for a fall, at least, announcement.”

He says there has been a lot of interest from the private sector, with companies coming forward to express their interest in purchasing (through strata title) some space, or renting.  Bell says both the downtown core and UNBC are being looked at as potential locations for the centre.  He admits the arguments for Cranbrook hill are compelling, given the land would be free and any engineering program encompassed in the facility would be close to the student pool.  However, the PG-Mackenzie MLA says his preference is downtown, “To have a facility that brings together a lot of people into the downtown core – starts creating that traffic – it creates other business opportunities in the downtown core and helps clean that up.”

“There are three potential locations in the downtown core that are big enough to locate something like this and really, at this point, we are looking for one of those three options.”

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