With respect to the economy, it's been a fascinating time. I've lived here for 25 years now, and I moved here as, I would like to think, a young salesman with IBM, and went into business for myself over the subsequent 20 years before my walk down the bucket list path into politics for a bit. So, I witnessed the economy change a great deal. I'll tap into both my own observations as well as the work that we did on the scorecard.
To your question on the scorecard, we will distribute that to all members of the committee. We will send that to the secretary of the committee when we get back to the office today. The summary booklet actually is great airplane reading, and God knows how much time you spend on airplanes. There's a wonderful summary there as to the challenges and whatnot.
What we've seen happen here in the last 25 years is the economy shift a great deal. The reliance we had in terms of our natural resources sector continues to be enormously high, but back when I first moved here, forestry was the dominant player in town. The head offices that existed in Vancouver in 1994 were many, and now they've all gone. For whatever reason, they've left town, and they're branch offices now, even though all the forestry activity continues, obviously, on the coast and in the central part of British Columbia. For the benefit of the committee, those are actually two sub-industries that are quite different, quite distinct, in terms of their fabric.
I think the impediments are really around...transportation investment is a huge one. On the Pacific gateway, you now have a situation where 75% of anything leaving Canada by water west of Thunder Bay, Ontario, goes through the port of Vancouver; and 50% of what leaves Canada by air west of Thunder Bay, Ontario, goes to YVR. It doesn't go through my hometown of Winnipeg. It doesn't go through Regina or Saskatoon or Edmonton or Calgary or Abbotsford, all the other international airports of choice that are between Thunder Bay and Vancouver. It comes here by rail or by truck, and it leaves by YVR. So, you've seen a big shift now where this region accounts for a great deal of Canada's economy by way of exporting in a manner that it just hasn't before in history. The port has had enormous growth. The airport thought it would hit 21 or 22 million passengers by 2025, but it hit that last year—probably this year, really. It's a crazy growth curve that they're on, and I'll defer to those organizations for the specific numbers, but the underlying point is nonetheless true.
So, investment into the Pacific gateway is very important. I did present to the B.C. members of the government caucus, and the Conservative and the NDP caucuses, on the day that we launched the scorecard, and we talked about this very briefly. I think it's very important to understand that it was across different stripes of federal leadership that we've seen the necessary investment into our port infrastructure, into our railheads, into the investment in and around YVR, and indeed the road system around here. We had wonderful support through those decades. Right now, it's not as clear to us that it's as much of a priority for the federal government as it has been in the past. I note, very quickly, that it was former prime minister Paul Martin who was one of the biggest champions of this region. It has truly crossed political stripes, and I would encourage you to continue on that line. So that's one.
We've already spoken about the investment of transportation and the linkage to housing affordability, and that is a key impediment economically in this region as well. Finding people to come to this province and live here as professionals, whether they're young professionals, aspiring, whether they are established professionals.... The people who hire people, the people who sign the front of the paycheque.... It is really difficult when the cost of living is as high as it is here. I'm one of the lucky ones. I got into the housing market a long time ago, and so I watched this with astonishment. There's no way I could get into the game today.
Those continue to be key economic impediments for where we might go next as a province. It's challenging because the folks in our northern community who are driving the natural resources sector, and, indeed, most of the economy here, frankly—