Opinion: Hard work on brewery move pays off for Chilliwack

The economic implications of the Molson Coors decision to relocate its brewery to Chilliwack are hard to overstate.

It was an announcement that surprised few, but was welcomed by many.

On Thursday, Molson Coors ended months of speculation with the announcement that Chilliwack would indeed become home to its new brewing facility.

Not only is this good news for the immediate, it holds potential for even better things to come in Chilliwack’s future.

Initial plans call for a 230,000-square-foot “technologically-advanced” facility in the Kerr Avenue Food processing Park.

But longer range plans at the 34-acre location could mean a brewery nearly twice that size – something on the scale of five football fields.

The economic implications of this development are hard to overstate.

It will add to Chilliwack’s industrial tax base, generating money to provide more of the services residents are demanding (like increased policing), while keeping property taxes in check.

It will provide jobs, not just in the construction phase, but well-paying skilled jobs over the long term.

It will generate spinoff economic activity as those salaries are spent, and additional services are provided to support this new industrial player.

It will heighten Chilliwack’s profile as a potential relocation destination within the business community, both in the Lower Mainland, and across B.C.

And, it will mean a new corporate partner for the many foundations, charities and community groups that already benefit from the support of the local business community.

As welcome as this news is, however, it didn’t come by chance.

Officials within City of Chilliwack, particularly Chilliwack’s economic development arm CEPCO, worked hard to make it a reality.

Said Stewart Glendinning, president and chief executive officer of Molson Coors Canada:  “We would not have been able to move forward without their active participation and support.”

It’s a good day to celebrate a new and exciting chapter in Chilliwack’s economic growth.

But it’s also important to raise a glass to all those who worked behind the scenes to make it possible.