Port Hardy signs pact with Province

The District of Port Hardy partnered with the Province of British Columbia to improve its economic health

PORT HARDY — The District of Port Hardy has a new partner in its economic development plans — the Province of British Columbia.

Officials of the District and the Ministry of Economic Development recently signed a Communities First Agreement that will allow Port Hardy to collaborate directly with the Province to improve its overall economic health.

“We recently released our 2011 Economic Development Strategy, so this opportunity to participate in a Communities First Agreement is timely,” Port Hardy Mayor Bev Parnham said. “By working with the Province, we’re going to be able to find some concrete ways to move forward on some of our priority projects, and that’s good news for Port Hardy.”

Port Hardy has identified downtown revitalization, investment attraction, a business retention and expansion initiative, partnership development initiatives with local First Nations, and a review of the local marine infrastructure as priorities in its agreement.

Through these agreements, communities strategically prioritize their economic development needs and the RuralBC Secretariat helps to identify ways to assist them in meeting their goals.

“Being from a smaller community myself, I understand how important working in partnership can be in meeting the priorities of B.C. communities,” said Donna Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Economic Development. “This Communities First Agreement means we can create a more direct working relationship with Port Hardy, and work together on the goals that are important to the district and the families living there.”

The Province will be providing a primary contact to meet with community representatives, provide information and

resources, and work with the district to identify available funding sources and other resources that may assist Port Hardy in reaching these goals.

Port Hardy becomes the eighth rural community in B.C. to sign a Communities First Agreement, following Port Alberni, Prince Rupert, Clinton, Chetwynd, Vanderhoof, Cranbrook and Grand Forks.

To learn more about Communities First Agreements go to www.ruralbc.gov.bc.ca.