Final Report - Economic Development in Northwest BC: Taking Control of Our Future
April 1st, 2009 - 4:14pm
OTTAWA – Sustainable jobs, local retraining and regional connections are key to building a strong Northwest economy, notes the final report for Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen’s 2010 economic riding tour that was released today.
“Jobs are definitely on people’s minds,” said Cullen of the report’s findings, which he will hand-deliver to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty later today.
“But people don’t want just any job. They want sustainable jobs and are looking to government to be a partner in making the switch to a better economy.”
One of the key recommendations of the report suggests that the Northwest needs to build a stronger regional economy.
“There are so many opportunities in the region for green business development, tourism, and much more. But people need to be connected and talk to one another if we’re going to make this happen,” Cullen said.
“The forums gave us a good opportunity to meet with different people in the community to talk about our issues,” noted Fort St. James economic development officer Deb Hawden, who helped facilitate the forum in her community. “Anytime the government or our MP can come into the community and get the facts straight from the citizens, it’s a good thing.”
The 2010 economic riding tour took Cullen through 10 communities from January through March to ask people how to build a better federal budget and revive the Northwest economy. Discussions focused on local priorities related to government spending, small business, green economy and infrastructure.
The final report outlines the region’s main priorities for economic renewal in the Northwest. It will be sent to federal funding agencies, local development organization, and community leaders.
“People in the Northwest have seen some pretty tough times, but they’re ready to move on and find ways to develop our economy” said Cullen. “It’s clear to me that our riding has plenty of ideas and enthusiasm to build a better future.”