Economic development support strengthened for smaller communities
Economy Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:30 AM

VICTORIA - Communities throughout British Columbia will receive increased support to maximize their economic potential through new partnerships and an innovative suite of tools and resources, announced Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell today.

Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan includes a commitment to work with communities and build their capacity so that all regions of the province can take advantage of investment opportunities. Under the Enhanced Community Economic Support Initiative (ECESI), government will bring communities together to promote five regional collaborations, provide economic development training and up-to-date information about what works and what doesn't, and support local governments as they advance their investment strategies.

The ECESI will include:

  • Regional Economic Collaboratives: Working with communities and regional partners, priority economic initiatives with a regional impact will be identified in five regional sessions. This builds on the three regional sessions held this past year. Strategies will be developed to grow and advance these areas of focus with implementation occurring in the first 18 months.
  • Economic Essentials for Local Government Leaders: The government will deliver leadership training workshops in the eight development regions throughout the province. The workshops will inform and empower local governments to identify and advance their own unique economic assets and strategies with a particular focus and emphasis on investment readiness.
  • Online Economic Development Resources: An online suite of resources and tools will be developed to aid communities in identifying economic opportunities, attracting and hosting potential investors, and securing investment opportunities. The toolkit will add knowledge and support to communities throughout the province.
  • Support for LNG-Affected Communities: Customized local support will be provided to expand the economic development resources of communities presented with liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunities. Government will partner with associations and trusts to align resources and build capacity to support these communities.
  • OpportunitiesBC Content Expansion: Doubling the investment content on the OpportunitiesBC website will better represent the numerous opportunities available in our communities.


Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell -

"We are committed to helping communities throughout the province foster economic growth and reach their full potential. The Enhanced Community Economic Support Initiative will expand on what government is already doing by providing additional resources both online and in person so regions can capitalize on their assets, and we can create jobs for B.C. families."

Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett -

"Families, and the communities they live in, are at the heart of the economic and social health of our province. Working with local governments, this initiative provides the tools and support needed to strengthen communities and help make them vibrant, sustainable and economically resilient."

Union of British Columbia Municipalities president Mary Sjostrom -

"A growing number of B.C. local governments are dedicating staff and other resources toward economic development in their communities. These new resources will be welcomed by communities as they develop initiatives that capitalize on local and regional assets."

Learn More:

For additional information on this initiative, please visit the ministry's website at:

Check out OpportunitiesBC to find investment opportunities throughout the province:


Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
and Minister Responsible for Labour
250 356-8177

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