Mayor asks for an update on economic pilot project

as the mayor sees it - Mayor asks for an update on economic pilot project

On Dec. 4, I attended the “Success through Sharing” Symposium hosted by the Aboriginal Business Investment Council.

The symposium was comprised of four sections each led by a panel of experts in the particular topic being presented. The information was insightful and timely, with a good amount of humour injected throughout to break up the day.

Premier Clark delivered the keynote address, despite having come down with what seemed to be a horrible cold.

As part of Canada Starts Here: BC Jobs Plan, the Aboriginal Business and Investment Council has been created to identify business models that will encourage greater participation of BC’s Aboriginal people in our economy. The BC Jobs Plan is administered by the Jobs Tourism and Skills Training Ministry. Minister Pat Bell was there and gave the closing remarks.

These symposiums can be a bit of a chore to attend, but this one was well done. The format invited audience interaction, and the organizers did a good job with the venue. I hope they continue to bring people together to share ideas.

After the symposium, the Economic Development Association of BC (EDABC)held its annual dinner. Members of EDABC from all across B.C. attended.  The dinner was sponsored through the JTST Ministry and the subject of the meeting was to allow members access to Minister Bell and his staff to pitch ideas and get some answers.

The format was that two members of the ministry staff would sit at each table,  but would rotate from table to table at given intervals. This worked well, in that it opened the door to future discussions.

The Economic Pilot that is currently underway here in the valley is progressing,  but it may be time for a review. I spoke with Minister Bell and asked that he perhaps stop into Barriere on his way through to go skiing, to give us an update first hand.

I also spoke with Don Fast. In addition to being on the staff of the JTST ministry,  Mr. Fast is a member of the Oversight Committee of the International Green Economy Association (IGEA), which has set up a Canada Committee. Mr. Fast said that the Canada Committee will have a broad membership of interested persons from business, academia  and government, as well as a number of Task Forces that focus on areas such as clean energy, clean transportation, sustainable forestry and mining, urban planning, financing and international relations.

The description of the organization is as follows:

IGEA is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Beijing, that is affiliated with the United Nations and supported by the Chinese government. Its mission is to promote green growth in business, capacity building in various sectors and sustainable development in the economy. IGEA achieves its mission by organizing conferences and events, conducting training programs, brokering business partnerships, promoting the twinning of low carbon cities to share experiences, and rating companies based on their environmental, social and governance practices.  Since its inception in 2009, IGEA has achieved high growth in China. It is now rolling out its successful business model to other countries, and setting up a committee in Canada as well as in four other countries.

It may seem a bit far fetched for Barriere to be involved, but I am of the opinion that we should take every advantage of the good work already done around sound and sustainable business models. We shall see what they can offer to us in the New Year.

There was a memorial for Fred Haggard on Dec. 15, in Kamloops. The Haggard family were pioneers here in the valley. Fred was born on their homestead in the upper Barriere. He was a good friend of my Dad for many years.

Fred was a great outdoor enthusiast, and throughout my life he always took the time to share some of his fishing and hunting trips with myself and my family.

Unfortunately, for the past few years Fred has been seriously ill and needed constant care, which was provided by his wife Pat.

Pat told me that they had a good long life together, but Fred had said it was his time to go.

Fred was an honest and caring man, and as good a role model as you could ask for.

I will miss him.