MIEDS consultation starts Monday

  • Jun. 13, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Islanders who have opinions and ideas about how we should be handling economic development on Haida Gwaii are being invited to a series of public meetings next week. The Misty Isles Economic Development Society will hold five public consultation sessions in Sandspit, Queen Charlotte, Tlell, Port Clements and Masset to find out what people think the society should be doing, said economic development officer Heather Hornoi. The public sessions are the first step in coming up with a new three-year plan for the society, Ms Hornoi said. “We want to make sure MIEDS has a direction and isn’t competing with other islands organizations,” she said. “And everybody usually has an opinion about what can be done to make the islands stronger or more sustainable.” Ms Hornoi will make a presentation at each of the public sessions about what the society has accomplished so far and how it operates, and participants will be able to fill out a survey that will reflect their thoughts about MIEDS mandate, mission, the big issues it should be addressing, challenges and opportunities. The survey will include a section where islanders can share any unique or groundbreaking ideas they might have about reinvigorating the islands’ economy. The survey will be available at the public meetings, on the MIEDS website, and will also be mailed out to residents next week, Ms Hornoi said. She’s hoping that people will fill them out by the end of the month, so she can analyze the data over the summer and have the plan ready for September. Another survey, about the community forest that the society has been working on, will also be available on the website and at village offices (but not at the public meetings). The community forest option that MIEDS is investigating is one that hasn’t been tried anywhere else, and the society needs to hear more from the public about how it wants to see the forest operating. “We’re basically blazing a new trail altogether,” she said. “It’s quite complex and challenging.” The public meetings will be held on June 18 at the Sandspit community hall, on June 19 at the Queen Charlotte legion, on June 20 at the Haida House at Tllal, on June 21 in the Port Clements seniors room, and in the Masset village office on a date to be announced. All sessions start at 6 pm and end at 8 pm.

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