Snowless Mount Washington sells to an American snowmaker

Mount Washington only opened for a few weeks in 2014

Plus, good news for B.C. export growth and the ministers in Trudeau’s cabinet you should care about

Snowy peaks
The ski hill that infamously lacks snow will soon have a new owner adept at faking it. On Tuesday, a U.S. resort operator announced that it will buy Mount Washington Alpine Resort, on Vancouver Island west of Courtenay. The new owner, who will acquire the ski operations plus land for development around the base, did not disclose the sale price. And the hill and its new owner are a suitable match. Pacific Group, which operates ski hills in Utah and Virginia, specializes in snowmaking, a chronic problem for Mount Washington. During the 2014 and 2015 ski season, the mountain only opened for weeks at a time, which as an employer of 700 full-time and part-time workers had a significant economic impact on Courtenay. When the resort was founded in 1979, in the era before climate change, the snowfall was deeper and more frequent.

Trudeau’s local picks
After two weeks of speculation, we know the names of the new ministers in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s incoming cabinet, and few of the B.C. members should come as a surprise. Three B.C. MPs made Trudeau’s 30-person roster, down from five in Harper’s much larger cabinet: Vancouver-Granville’s Jody Wilson-Raybould as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Vancouver South MP Harjit Sajjan as Minister of National Defence and Carla Qualtrough (Delta) as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. But that isn’t it. There are other new ministers with portfolios that will affect issues as wide as affordability in Vancouver and trade negotiations vital to B.C.’s forestry industry. And a few prominent B.C. names were left out. You can read more here.

The experts on exports
Low commodity prices will stymie export B.C. export growth this year, but demand for minerals and lumber could rebound growth to six per cent in 2016, according to a fall forecast from Export Development Canada.  B.C.’s exports will grow by just one per cent in 2015, thanks to a 21 per cent drop in the value of exports of natural gas and a five per cent decline in metals and ores. But the weak demand for commodities will be offset by strong demand for agri-foods in the U.S., which EDC expects to grow by 23 per cent in 2015 due to a weak Canadian dollar and the impact of drought-induced harvests in the Western U.S.