Ahead of the Provincial Budget presentation next week, Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, announced an investment of $10 million in 2017-18 to the North Island-Coast Development Initiative Trust – referred to as Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) to support job creation and economic diversification in the Central South Island Region and the North Island-Sunshine Coast Region.
Stillwell made the announcement at the Nanaimo Port Authority’s Welcome Centre to showcase one of the many great projects funded in part by ICET. Other examples of ICET-funded projects include the Deep Bay Marine Field Station, the Cowichan Farm Incubator, Gibsons Public Market, the Salish Sea Marine Trail, the Sunshine Coast Trail, the Remote Regions Enhanced Marketing Plan and the Sunshine Coast Regional Signage Strategy.
The trust was established in 2006 as an entity independent from government to support the economic development of the Central South Island Region and the North Island-Sunshine Coast Region and is guided by a board of directors and two regional advisory committees (RACs) which include more than 50 locally elected officials and MLAs and five appointees.
Funding the Island Coastal Economic Trust is one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen and grow rural communities. To further support the needs of rural communities and grow local economies, the Province will be releasing a Rural Economic Development Strategy in the near future.
On Feb. 21, 2017, Finance Minister Michael de Jong will introduce the Province’s fifth consecutive balanced budget.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, and MLA for Parksville-Qualicum –
“The Island Coastal Economic Trust plays a vital role in the economic success of the region it serves. The $10 million in funding announced today will ensure the trust has the resources it needs to invest in even more economic development initiatives that will continue to create new opportunities for the region to grow diversify and strengthen its economy.”
Phil Kent, mayor of Duncan, chair of Island Coast Economic Trust (ICET) –
“We are very grateful to the Province of B.C. for this reinvestment in our region and for its foresight in creating ICET, a community-led economic investment model , developed and proven here in B.C. This new funding will enable our region’s communities, First Nations, industry and business to build on the economic progress of the past decade, to support emerging sectors and take advantage of new opportunities in our rapidly changing economy.”
- ICET committed $49.6 million to more than 160 economic development projects in more than 60 communities – 51% of that funding has been allocated to communities with fewer than 5,000 persons.
- There have been more than 50 economic development training or conference bursaries, more than 30 economic development and industry events sponsored and more than 10 regional partnership initiatives.
- Job numbers to date: 2,595 long-term jobs for three to five years post-completion; 2,570 person years in short-term construction jobs.
- $54.7 million in federal funding leveraged to date, $78.2 million from local governments and $42.7 million in provincial funds, along with $53 million in non-government funding, for a total of $228.6 million in leveraged funding, which works out to $4.61 for every ICET dollar.
Map of the funding region: http://www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/map.php
Past ICET funded projects: http://www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/projects
Nanaimo Port Authority: http://portauthority.npa.ca/en/
BC Jobs Plan 5 Year Update: http://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/