Rivercorp will host a BC Jobs Plan regional economic development pilot project planning forum tentatively scheduled for Jan. 30, says Vic Goodman, CEO of the city’s economic development corporation.
Confirmation from the office of Jobs, Tourism & Innovation Minister Pat Bell is anticipated in a matter of days.
Campbell River Mayor Walter Jakeway says the provincial government’s decision to select Campbell River as the host of one of four regional economic development pilot projects “will be interesting and will assist in setting future goals and priorities.” But he cautions: “The city and local economy must not rely on any one initiative or project to build its future.”
The pilot project initiative is aimed at attracting investment, identifying opportunities, economic diversification and job creation in areas consistent with the BC Jobs Plan. The province will assist communities by providing expertise, and facilitating community and regional linkages to key partners, stakeholders and programs to advance investment opportunities.
The pilot project planning forum will be attended by Minister Bell, his department officials, the Rivercorp team, Chamber of Commerce officials, private sector leaders, non-governmental organizations, educators and First Nations representatives.
Bell anticipates that 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 Campbell River by developing an intensified approach to capitalize on those opportunities. Selected projects will be implemented in the following six to 18 months.
Once the pilots are complete, additional communities will have the opportunity to partner with the government on investment opportunities.