Council backs bid to restore ICET funding

CAMPBELL RIVER—City credits work of Island Coastal Economic Trust in funding infrastructure projects

Campbell River council is working to get coastal communities to petition the B.C. government to renew funding to the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) which is running out of money.

Coun. Charlie Cornfield told council at last week’s meeting that the $50 million that the province gave ICET in 2006 when it was established is nearly spent.Cornfield said that funding has been instrumental in helping coastal communities with economic growth-generating projects.

“The $50 million fund has been the key factor in enabling ICET to leverage significant levels of other government, non-government, and private sector funding, resulting in important gains for the people, businesses and communities in the AVICC (Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities),” Cornfield said.

Council agreed and endorsed a resolution – which Cornfield brought forward– that will be sent to the AVICC. If it passes at the April AVICC convention in Courtenay, the AVICC will likely petition the provincial government to renew ICET by re-capitalizing the trust to its original, $50 million level.

Mayor Andy Adams thanked Cornfield for bringing the resolution forward to Campbell River council.

“During your time in this chair, you were very effective in working with ICET and I certainly understand the significance that it’s had on our community,” Adams said, “so thank you.”

Campbell River has been the recipient of several ICET grants including one for $2.3 million for the Campbell River Airport runway extension, $250,000 for the Downtown Revitalization project in and around the St. Ann’s block, as well as $325,000 for the Elk Falls Suspension bridge project.

And just last week, ICET announced a $5,705 grant to conduct an analysis of all Kelsey Bay harbour users which could possibly lead to new business and increased marine tourism for Sayward.

To date, ICET has provided $44.3 million to communities on the Sunshine Coast and on northern and central Vancouver Island.

ICET claims it has leveraged $4.7 for every ICET dollar spent.