If a province allows extraction of natural resources and takes back little or no share of produced value, its gross domestic product (GDP) may rise on paper but its citizens become poorer as raw assets are depleted and the environment is degraded.
Typically in BC, foreign owned companies export resources for final processing or manufacturing using foreign transport, foreign agents and overseas management. Exporters return only a portion of value to the local economy and they maximize sales proceeds held overseas, often in tax havens.
What matters to citizens is not the value exported but the wealth circulated internally. If a region is not adequately compensated for materials exported, ultimately, it will suffer poverty. If a local economy exports resources without adding value, it minimizes the worth of commodities delivered.
The land that depletes its resources must account for pollution of land, air and water. These are hidden costs, frequently ignored by people who benefit by hiding them. Usual economic measures – GDP for example - do not indicate economic well-being and sustainability.
Lands rich in resources often end up being rich countries with poor people.