Carly Pereboom of Port Hardy and District Chamber of Commerce

Regional District plans for future

Tourism to play an increasing role in the local economy Strategic Sector Planning workshop hears.

SEVEN HILLS—Forestry remains the dominant industry on North Vancouver Island, but tourism will continue to play an increasing role in the local economy in coming years.

That was part of the message shared as the Regional District of Mount Waddington took the first steps toward and update of its decade-old economic plan by hosting a Strategic Sector Planning workshop at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club last Thursday.

The workshop featured a presentation by William Trousdell and Colleen Hamilton of EcoPlan International, a Vancouver-based consulting firm. They addressed local civic officials, business owners and First Nations economic planners who attended to contribute their suggestions and recommendations to the proposed economic plan.

“We need to rely on your knowledge to move this strategy forward,” said Trousdell. “We want you to think about what this region is going to look like in 20 years, and we’ll walk back from there to determine the steps necessary to achieve that future.”

A steering committee made up of local volunteers identified five key economic sectors on the North Island — Forestry, cultural and adventure tourism, marine, small business, and education and training.

Each was represented by a large wall poster, and workshop participants were urged to write their respective visions for those sectors, along with emerging opportunities, barriers and ways governments can advance each of them.

Trousdell and Hamilton presented dates highlighting some of the trends and challenges facing the North Island, including a dramatic population decline over the last 20 years.

Forestry has seen a decline in that time, though it remains the No. 1 employer in the region, followed by the public sector. On the other hand, gains have been made with the recent completion of two renewable energy projects — the Cape Scott Wind Farm and the Kokish Run-of-River Hydro project — and aquaculture and tourism are on the rise.

Craig Murray of Nimmo Bay Resort approved the inclusion of tourism as one of the five selected economic sectors, noting the summary of the 2003-04 regional economic plan did not even include the word tourism.

Trousdell and Hamilton will take the input gathered from last week’s workshop and create a workshop report to present RDMW’s director of economic development, Pat English, and planning director Jonah Velaniskis.

“We’ll do more research on each sector and then provide (RDMW) with a list of recommendations,” said Hamilton. “That can help them make a draft plan to take to the public, and it’s always easier for people to comment when they have something to start from.”

The work of EcoPlan Int’l is funded through the RDMW, Vancouver Island North Tourism and Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET).

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas votes in favour of eliminating overtime pay for confidential secretary

“I think when staff makes a recommendation I have to support staff’s recommendation.”

PHOTOS: Port McNeill residents remember the fallen

A huge crowd of Port McNeill residents came out on Nov. 11… Continue reading

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Port Alice resident a descendant of two Aboriginal war heroes

Charlie and Henry Byce are Canada’s most decorated father and son in history.

Port Hardy council hesitant to formalize question period in agendas, refers it to committee

In first act as new council, representatives were uncertain about formalizing question periods.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read