Renewing the Northwest focus of weekend gathering

SMITHERS – Over 20 community and government leaders will gather in Smithers this weekend at the invitation of Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen to explore and plan ways to renew the resource-based economies of Northwest BC.

Tabbed Renewal Northwest, Cullen has organized the event to re-cast community-based efforts aimed at sustainable economic development into focusing on what residents want, rather than what they don’t want.

“When the residents of Northwest BC do not approve of a development, they can unite into a formidable barrier by saying ‘No!’” says Cullen.

“Renewal Northwest is an effort to turn that on its head. First we determine what Northwesters want, then we can start saying ‘Yes!’”

Renewal Northwest, the name being used to describe the effort, will begin with a two-day planning session in Smithers on September 25 and 26. The goal of this meeting is to set out an action plan for several community town-hall meetings, followed by a large regional forum on the future of Northwest economy.

“Though it sounds like a pretty basic conversation, if it was easy, it would have already been done.” Cullen points out. “This is about building a solid foundation for the people of the Northwest to be more pro-active in determining the future of their region.”

“From the start, my credo has been ‘Working together to build a better Northwest’, this is another example of that motto in action.”