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Premier Announces Funds For Island Economic Alliance

by NationTalk on April 4, 2007601 Views

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2007OTP0034-000385
April 3, 2007
Office of the Premier

NANAIMO – The Province is providing an additional $150,000 to support the work of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) in fostering business investment and job creation on the Island, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today at a summit of regional business and community leaders.

“Collaboration between Island communities, with First Nations and other partners, is critical to generating sustainable economic opportunities for Vancouver Island, and the VIEA is taking a leadership role on that front,” said Premier Campbell. “Like the $50-million North Island-Coast Development Trust, supporting the VIEA is a way we can empower local leaders and their communities to build continued economic strength on Vancouver Island.”The primary role of the VIEA is to provide regional leadership for business attraction, retention and expansion as well as initiatives that strengthen the regional economy. The VIEA will develop a regional economic network on the Island by working with local businesses and other stakeholders to support economic diversification, identify new opportunities to market the region to investors and workers and leverage the provincial funding to attract private dollars to support long-term marketing and planning.

“This contribution provides the Alliance with a significant boost to its startup program to brand Vancouver Island as a preferred trade and business investment destination,” said Mike Hunter, VIEA chair. “Our shared resources can increase access to the investment community and enhance our competitiveness.”

The VIEA has completed the first stage of its organizational development by completing a business plan, appointing a board of directors and raising $32,500 in contributions from various corporate sponsors. This new funding and today’s summit will help to expand the Alliance’s network and highlight its strategic priorities:

· Develop a brand identity for Vancouver Island;

· Continue to expand participation of Vancouver Island businesses, and other partners;

· Support economic diversification efforts in First Nations and remote communities in the region; and

· Develop an investment and skills attraction program.

The VIEA provides regional leadership and implementation for initiatives that strengthen the Vancouver Island economy. It was created under a two-year pilot “Regional Economic Alliance Initiative” carried out by the Ministry of Economic Development in four regions of the province, beginning in 2005-06. The VEIA received $65,000 under the first year of the pilot. The funding announced today is for the second year (2006-07) of the pilot initiative.

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Media contact:

Mike Morton
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 213-8218

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