Unfortunately when the subject of economic development comes up lately there isn’t a lot of happy chat and backslapping about how well everything is going. Example 1: The broad question of rural community sustainability was raised from the floor three or four times at last months all candidates meeting. People are concerned.
Example 2: When Village Council recently voted their support for the Rural BC Project, Mayor Randy Kappes said, “We have to find a way that we can convince young people that they can make a living in small communities again. Until that is resolved no money is going to solve the issue.”
Example 3: Greenwood Councillor Darla Ashton has suggested that the City consider forming Greenwood’s own economic development committee. Mayor Nipper Kettle said he would take the idea to the Board of Trade and he’s since told The Times that he anticipates a meeting in the near future.
The Boundary Economic Development Committee (BEDC) has been the lead on economic development regionally for a number of years now. But the BEDC is undergoing change. Indeed, the future of the BEDC is by no means certain.
Area C pulled out of the service this year because funding to protect the health of the lake took priority, and both Grand Forks council and Area E Director Bill Baird have publicly expressed concern about the committee.
The BEDC has prepared a draft newsletter listing their achievements and is preparing a new work plan.
A good starting point because it might help politicians realize whose shoes will have to be filled if the BEDC folds.
It’s time for a serious discussion about economic development. Who is doing what on the file these days?
There has to be an understanding of what the BEDC is capable of and mandated to deliver.