City sowing seeds of economic diversity

The city is going back to its roots in looking at new options for investment in Campbell River.

The city is going back to its roots in looking at new options for investment in Campbell River.

The city’s economy has been founded on forestry, fishing and mining, three sectors that were at one time so lucrative there was no need for Campbell River to diversify economically.

But times have changed.

“Now we are facing, because of world economies, a different economic paradigm so we’re looking at options to re-identify ourselves so we’re much more resilient,” said Ross Blackwell, city land use manager. “One of the areas yet to be realized of its full potential is the agriculture industry.”

Blackwell said Campbell River was in part founded on agriculture, with a number of founders working in the industry.

The city wants to take a page out of history and is undertaking an agriculture plan to expose what Campbell River has to offer in terms of land base.

Consultants working on the plan discovered Campbell River has many thousands of acres of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), which includes private and public lands that may be farmed, forested or kept vacant.

“We have a substantial amount of land classified as prime agriculture land and it’s as good as land in the lower Fraser Valley,” said Blackwell. “We have this fabulous land base, it’s just not being used for agriculture. We have what we need to have a viable, flourishing industry that can create jobs.”

Not only is the value in jobs, but in better eating habits.

Locally grown food is more nutritious and flavourful than when imported, as food loses its nutrients each mile it travels.

Blackwell said more and more people are becoming aware of the value of buying food produced closer to home.

“There’s a remarkable shift in the thinking of this. Before, as a society, we went with mass produced food that was based on volume, not quality,” said Blackwell. “The flavours weren’t really there. But the flavour’s going to be far better, stronger and richer when you bring in fresh, local produce. It may look the same, but it will taste totally better.”

The agriculture plan should be complete by early summer and is designed for use by city staff, Rivercorp and possibly the Chamber of Commerce to help attract investment.

It will also lay the roadmap in terms of constraints, opportunities and next steps.

“It’s something that you certainly will not see flourish overnight but instead grow over time,” said Blackwell. “Campbell River is at a crossroads and it’s a good time to embrace this industry.”

The public is invited to attend an open house to review and discuss the building blocks of the agriculture plan April 27 at the Sportsplex in Willow Point at 6 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Campbell River supportive living facility celebrates 25 years

Willow Point Supportive Living Society provides housing for low-income seniors

Chili Fest raises funds for Campbell River community group

Jack-o’-lanterns take over Spirit Square during Halloween event

Campbell River RCMP catch youth with stolen handgun

Gun was allegedly stolen in break-and-enter on Dogwood St.

‘Violent’ wanted man possibly in Campbell River – Crime Stoppers

A wanted man is “violent” and “may be in the Campbell River… Continue reading

VIDEO: Campbell River resident captures backyard bears in photos and video

Amateur photographer David Baar, who lives on Chum Rd. in North Campbell… Continue reading

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Most Read