Booming Vancouver film industry short on locations and workers

A weekly roundup of news and views on energy, mining, forestry and more

Vancouver has a “burnout of space,” according to film producers who can no longer find unfamiliar shooting locations. “Certain locations have been used so many times that they become recognizable on film and TV,” a local production assistant told CBC. Thanks to the low Canadian dollar and tax incentives offered to production companies, film and TV production is a $2-billion-a-year industry in B.C. But companies are also struggling to find enough skilled workers. (CBC)

Lax Kw’alaams Band voted in favour last week of further negotiations with officials from the Pacific NorthWest LNG project. While the band previously rejected a $1.15-billion offer of compensation in exchange for their support of the project, the recent vote seemed motivated by hopes among Lax Kw’alaams members that the terminal site could be moved to a less environmentally sensitive area. Members of the First Nation are set to meet in the coming days with representatives from the LNG project. (Bloomberg)

Following several unsolicited expressions of interest in recent months, Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. says it plans to hire a banker and get advice on all strategic options to deal with the overtures. “The mining industry has taken notice of our company,” said Robert Friedland, executive chairman of the Vancouver-based company, in a press release. Ivanhoe did not provide names of potential buyers but said it had received “a number of unsolicited inquiries from significant mining industry participants in Asia, Europe, Africa and elsewhere.” (The Globe and Mail)

As commodity prices rebound, mining companies are starting to consider reactivating sidelined projects. But a new report by Canada’s Mining Industry Human Resources Council warns about the immediate consequences of the lack of recruitment during the economic downturn of the past five years. The report warns that if the mining industry does return to a growth period, employers could then face a cumulative hiring requirement of up to 127,000 workers, including the replacement of about 49,000 workers retiring over the next decade. (

The Australian state of Victoria has said no to fracking. A parliamentary inquiry last year into onshore unconventional gas in Victoria received more than 1,600 submissions, most of them opposed to fracking and coal seam gas exploration. Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Tuesday that legislation for a permanent ban on all such exploration would be introduced later this year. A statement from the Department of Premier and Cabinet stated, “The government’s decision is based on the best available evidence and acknowledges that the risks involved outweigh any potential benefits to Victoria.” (The Guardian)