The last item on the agenda of the District of Barriere’s Dec 19, Council meeting was regarding the Economic Development update and contract. The current Economic Development Officer (EDO), Andrew Hayward, has been working at regional and global levels, spurring some interesting leads for potential economic development in Barriere.
Over the past five months there have been great strides taken working with foreign governments and investors, as well as starting to build strong local working relationships with private developers, Simpcw First Nation and the Provincial Government.
Barriere has hosted two visits to date from Chinese officials and potential investors, and been interviewed by Chinese television; putting Barriere on the map at a provincial and global level.
The District is very close to finalizing a number of potential projects in Barriere, but much work is still needed to attempt to bring these initiatives to fruition. A lot of the work that has been already done has been relationship building. Due to the existing EDO’s Asian portfolio, strong friendships with key government officials and investors have been built. This is key to having success on many of the current projects.
On a local level, the District is in meetings with Simpcw First Nation regarding working together on a number of economic initiatives for Barriere and area, and discussions are underway with a manufacturer from the Lower Mainland regarding relocating to Barriere, bringing with him around 30 new jobs.
The current EDO’s contract expires on December 23, 2011. His mandate, should his contract be extended, would be to continue to pursue other potential local and foreign investment and to continue to work on the projects that are currently underway.
Council then adjourned to a closed session to discuss the EDO contract, with the following resulting motion: Moved by Councillor Sabyan, seconded by Councillor Stanley; That Council approve the extension of the current Economic Development Officer’s employee contract until the first meeting in the new year which is currently scheduled for Jan. 9, 2012, and direct staff to investigate with the District’s Legal Counsel regarding changing the contract’s form to a non-exclusive contractor.
The motion was carried.