Province, YVR work together to support good jobs, fight pollution

Mar 22, 2024

L-R: Premier, David Eby; Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, Brenda Bailey; Board Chair, BC Aviation Council, Heather J. McCarley; President and CEO, Vancouver International Airport Authority, Tamara Vrooman; Musqueam Chief and Board Chair of Musqueam Capital Corporation (MCC), Wayne Sparrow

RICHMOND, BC, March 21, 2024/CNW/ – A partnership aimed at fighting pollution in the aviation sector, growing investment and supporting clean, sustainable jobs and business opportunities for people in British Columbia, has been made between the B.C. government and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

Vancouver’s airport is one of our province’s biggest employers and economic drivers of growth and revenue. They’re also leaders in sustainability and innovation,” said Premier David Eby. “By working together on shared priorities, like promoting made-in-B.C. clean tech and expanding trade diversification while reducing pollution, we can maximize benefits for all British Columbians, while strengthening our province’s economic future.”

Through a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU), YVR and the Province will collaborate with Indigenous partners, communities and aviation and aerospace stakeholders over three years to deliver new products, projects and activities that reflect the following shared priorities to:

  • accelerate sustainable aviation to fight pollution and reduce emissions;
  • support community resilience, leveraging YVR’s expertise to support communities in emergency preparedness, response and recovery;
  • increase clean-tech investment to promote made-in-B.C. technology and good jobs;
  • expand trade diversification, working to meet increased demand for B.C. export and grow B.C. tourism and good jobs for people;
  • promote workforce development growth to meet demand for skilled workers in aerospace and aviation; and
  • enhance goods and people movement, positioning YVR as a key hub within a multi-modal hub for people and goods movement between communities throughout B.C.

“YVR has long been an economic engine and jobs creator for British Columbia. This partnership recognizes the importance of aviation to the diversification of the provincial economy including zero-carbon innovation, technology, international trade and investment, and skills training,” said Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancouver International Airport. “Together with the Government of British Columbia, we are advancing important work and creating value for all British Columbians by strengthening connections between businesses, communities and sustainable economic opportunities.”

The Province and YVR recognize the benefits of working together to attract clean investment and human capital and to drive sustained economic growth leveraging B.C. StrongerBC economic plan and CleanBC climate plan and YVR as a vital economic asset and crucial driver of B.C.’s economy.

“Creating a dynamic marketplace for sustainable made-in-B.C.technologies aligns with work already being done through the Integrated Marketplace program with YVR,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “I look forward to building on the work already underway and furthering our efforts toward realizing a clean economy.”

As Canada’s second busiest airport, YVR is an economic engine for B.C., connecting people, communities, cargo and markets to the world. This is done through international and domestic services, regional and coastal air services, float planes, helicopter operations, corporate charters, sport fishing camps and aerospace facilities, which connect First Nations and communities throughout B.C., support the delivery of vital services, and facilitate business and economic growth in the province.

To kick off this partnership with YVR, the Province is investing in three key projects that will support the broader aviation industry:

  • $250,000 for a sustainable aviation fuel opportunities study to accelerate the development of sustainable aviation fuels and clean technologies (Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation);
  • $375,000 to support the creation of a net-zero airports action plan to outline actions for carbon-reduction measures across the B.C. airport network in line with CleanBC objectives (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure); and
  • $250,000 for a study to explore opportunities to enhance the movement of people and goods between YVR, Vancouver Island and beyond, to facilitate multi-modal access to new markets and increase the resiliency of supply chains (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure).

The MOU will also help enhance access to reliable, sustainable air services. This is vital to Indigenous communities as it ensures access to critical health and emergency services, supports job creation, creates business and tourism opportunities, and maintains their connection to other parts of the province.

“The B.C. Aviation Council applauds Premier Eby and the Government of British Columbia for this strategic initiative in partnership with YVR and B.C.’s aviation and aerospace industry,” said Heather J. McCarley, board chair, British Columbia Aviation Council. “Aviation is a powerful economic generator connecting communities, people and businesses across our province, and facilitates response for medevacs, wildfires, and other emergencies. The long-term sustainability of our industry, both environmental and financial, is vital for the well-being of our province.”

Establishing B.C. as a leader in sustainable aviation, clean-technology investment, and building resilient communities aligns with the key objectives of the StrongerBC Economic Plan.

Quotes:

Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation –

“To create a more sustainable future, we must continue to prioritize the development of clean fuels and low-carbon technology. By working together with partners like YVR, we pave the way for a future where progress and environmental responsibility go hand in hand, ensuring that B.C. has a thriving, clean economy that works for everyone.”

Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure –

“Clean and efficient movement of goods and people across all modes of transport supports healthy communities and a thriving economy. The partnership between the Province and YVR will lay the groundwork for common sense solutions, and builds on the work our government is doing to improve goods and people movement across British Columbia.”


Learn More:

For more about the StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit:
https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan/

For more information about Integrated Marketplace announcements at YVR, visit:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2024JEDI0008-000207

For more about YVR’s Strategic Plan, visit:
https://www.yvr.ca/en/about-yvr/2022-2024-strategic-plan/gateway-to-the-new-economy#:~:text=We%20will%20focus%20land%20development,%2Dtech%20and%20bio%2Dtech.

For more about YVR’s Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon 2030:
https://www.yvr.ca/en/blog/2021/yvr-net-zero-2030

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:
news.gov.bc.ca/connect


BACKGROUNDER 1

Facts about YVR

YVR is Canada’s second-largest international airport, having welcomed nearly 25 million passengers in 2023.

  • Through its operations, tourism, and cargo, YVR helps facilitate more than $20 billion in total economic output and more than $10 billion in total gross domestic product.
  • In addition, YVR supports more than 26,000 jobs on Sea Island where YVR is located, and more than 126,000 jobs throughout the province.
  • YVR is committed to advancing reconciliation and walking together with Musqueam under its 30-year Sustainability and Friendship Agreement, which is based on friendship and respect to achieve a sustainable future for the community and the lands on which the airport operates.
  • In 2021, YVR was the first airport in Canada to commit to net-zero emissions from its operations by 2030.
  • YVR partnered with the Province in 2022 to deliver an Integrated Marketplace Initiative, making the airport the first test bed under this program that supports made-in-B.C. companies to develop and sell clean-tech solutions locally so they can solve industry challenges.

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect


BACKGROUNDER 2

Details of new agreement between B.C., YVR

The Government of British Columbia and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) have entered into a partnership, focused on advancing B.C.’s aerospace, aviation and logistics sector and building a stronger economy for people in British Columbia.

As Canada’s second-busiest airport, YVR is an economic engine for B.C., connecting people, places, cargo, and markets to the world. YVR is uniquely positioned within Canada to grow as an international hub for zero-carbon innovation, technology, trade, investment and skills training for the aviation and aerospace sectors.

The agreement between the Government of British Columbia and YVR will see government immediately invest in B.C.’s sustainable aviation sector. Over the coming years, the Province and YVR have committed to working collaboratively on shared priorities to ensure government policies support future economic growth, competitiveness, affordability and investment.

Partnership highlights:

The Government of British Columbia will immediately invest in three priority projects:

1.  Sustainable aviation fuel opportunities study:

  • The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation will provide $250,000 in funding to complete a sustainable aviation fuel opportunities study.
  • YVR will oversee the study and work with partners in academia, aviation, energy and natural resources to analyze the challenges, opportunities and future commitments needed to develop sustainable aviation fuel capacity in B.C. as central to economic diversification and reducing carbon emissions from aviation.
  • The Province will use the data generated from the study to inform future policy decisions that will attract sustainable aviation fuel investment and create provincial economic opportunity

2.  B.C. airports carbon-reduction measures:

  • The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will provide $375,000 to fund a baseline carbon emissions study for all regional airports in the province.
  • YVR will oversee the work in collaboration with the B.C. Aviation Council, Victoria International Airport, Kelowna International Airport, and regional and Indigenous airport operators throughout British Columbia.
  • The study will inform the development of a net-zero action plan so all airports in B.C. can achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

3.  Multi-modal goods movement:

  • The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will invest $250,000 to explore opportunities to enhance people and goods movement between Vancouver Island, YVR and beyond.
  • YVR will conduct a feasibility study to investigate multi-modal air and marine connections between the regions, capitalizing on the population growth and economic potential of Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, thereby improving access to global markets, while exploring the potential of new and emerging transportation technologies.
  • The work will help position YVR as a key hub within a multi-modal goods movement system to enhance resilience and create new economic development opportunities for B.C. communities.

Additionally, over the next three years, the Government of British Columbia and YVR will explore further investments and activities in the following areas:

a. Acceleration of sustainable aviation, including leveraging the B.C. Low Carbon Fuel Standard to meet decarbonization targets, adopting green fleets, pursuing energy conservation and electrification projects, and replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives.

b. Increasing community resilience, to explore leveraging YVR’s expertise to build capacity and improve co-ordination across B.C.’s aviation sector to assist communities in preparing for and responding to emergencies, and with economic recovery and growth.

c. Increasing clean-tech investment, to promote the development, testing, and adoption of new processes and sustainable made-in-B.C. technologies.

d. Expanding trade diversification, related to increasing international trade and tourism through air passenger and cargo operations to meet growing demand for B.C. exports and international travel to the province.

e. Workforce development growth, including collaborating on activities to meet demand for skilled labour in the aviation and aerospace sectors.

f. Goods and people movement, explore leveraging YVR as a multi-modal hub for people and goods movement between Vancouver Island and beyond by leveraging YVR’s proximity to the ocean, Fraser River and ground transportation systems.

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect


(Source: Vancouver Airport Authority via Cision, Photo/Steve Drinkwater, Canadian Aviator)

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