Campbell River a pilot community for BC Jobs Plan

Campbell River will be one of four pilot communities for the B.C. government’s new Jobs Plan, the province announced Thursday.

Campbell River will be one of four pilot communities for the B.C. government’s new Jobs Plan, the province announced Thursday.

The province will partner with Campbell River to foster economic development through the Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan.

The Regional Economic Investment Pilot is aimed at attracting investment, identifying opportunities, economic diversification and job creation in areas consistent with the BC Jobs Plan. Its goal is to create long-term jobs and investment across the province by building on key competitive advantages.

The province will assist pilot communities by providing expertise, and facilitating community and regional linkages to key partners, stakeholders and programs to advance investment opportunities. No funding will be provided to communities.

In January, Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation will be in Campbell River to host a forum. At the forum, representatives from local government, business,

industry, First Nations and education will explore investment opportunities and share solutions in overcoming barriers. By the end of the forum, an inventory of potential projects and an initial action plan on how best to implement them will have been created. The

provincial government will assist the Campbell River corridor by developing an intensified approach to capitalize on those opportunities.

“These pilots will help us to focus on specific job-creating projects,” Bell said. “This is about working with our community and First Nations partners to create a sustainable economic future. I’m very excited about this project. It could have a profound effect on the prosperity of British Columbia.”

Mayor-elect Walter Jakeway said he is pleased the province chose Campbell River as a starting point.

“The City of Campbell River welcomes the provincial government’s initiative to pilot its Jobs Plan in the city,” Jakeway said. “Over the past few years the city has experienced the loss of several hundred jobs. With provincial support, we would like to make job creation and investment a priority not only for Campbell River but for coastal B.C. as well.”

Working with employers and communities to enable job creation is one of the key pillars of the BC Jobs Plan announced by Premier Christy Clark in September. To accelerate growth, the BC Jobs Plan leverages the strengths of B.C.’s most competitive sectors to bring new dollars into the economy from the province’s most important trading partners, according to a government press release. Those sectors are: forestry, mining, natural gas, agri-foods, technology, tourism, transportation and international education.

Campbell River (medium size city), the Barriere to McBride corridor (small rural communities), the North Fraser (communities of Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission), and a yet-to-be determined First Nations community, have also been selected for the pilot projects. A decision on a fourth community will be announced soon.

It is expected that economic forums in selected communities will be completed by March 2012. The lessons learned from these pilots will then be applied across the province.

To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan visit www.bcjobsplan.ca/

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