Barriere – McBride Corridor selected for economic pilot

Barriere - McBride Corridor selected for economic pilot

The Province announced last Thursday that they will partner with communities along the Barriere to McBride corridor in one of three regional economic development pilot projects as part of the Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan.

The Regional Economic Investment Pilot is aimed at attracting investment, identifying opportunities, economic diversification and job creation in areas consistent with the BC Jobs Plan.

In January, the Barriere to McBride corridor will hold a forum in Valemount, which will be hosted by Pat Bell, the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. The pilot area corridor includes the traditional territory of the Simpcw First Nation, which has several ongoing business relationships with companies in forestry, mining and hydro power production.

At the forum, representatives from local government, business, industry, First Nations and academia will explore investment opportunities and share solutions to overcome barriers.

By the end of the forum, an inventory of potential projects and an initial action plan on how best to implement them will have been created.

The provincial government will assist the Barriere to McBride corridor by developing an intensified approach to capitalize on those opportunities.

Working with employers and communities to enable job creation is one of the key pillars of the BC Jobs Plan announced by Premier Christy Clark in September. To accelerate growth, the BC Jobs Plan leverages the strengths of B.C.’s most competitive sectors to bring new dollars into the economy from the province’s most important trading partners. Those sectors are: forestry, mining, natural gas, agri-foods, technology, tourism, transportation and international education.

Campbell River and the North Fraser communities of Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission have also been selected for the pilot projects. A decision on a fourth community, a First Nation, will be announced soon.

It is expected that economic forums in selected communities will be completed by March 2012. The lessons learned from these pilots will then be applied across the province.

“We want all regions in British Columbia to be part of our jobs plan,” says Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell,  “These pilots will help us to focus on specific job-creating projects. This is about working with our community and First Nations partners to create a sustainable economic future. I’m very excited about this project. It could have a profound effect on the prosperity of British Columbia.”

“I am pleased the Province and particularly Minister Pat Bell have chosen Barriere to participate in the Regional Economic Investment Pilot. We look forward to sharing our own efforts and learning from the experience, knowledge and enthusiasm of the other members of the forum. The future is bright when we work together,” said Barriere Mayor-elect Bill Humphreys.

To find out more about BC Jobs Plan visit http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/