Community viability report circulates

  • Jun. 18, 2007 6:00 p.m.

The final draft of community viability report has been circulating on the islands for several weeks, but has not been made available to the general public.
Steve Nicol of Lions’ Gate Consulting is still waiting for final comments back from the steering committee of island elected leaders and then he and his co-worker Victor Cumming are planning to make one more trip to the islands. The report has already been through three or four drafts and Mr. Nicol said the committee has not been able to agree to the final edit on the final report.
The Observer obtained a copy of the 100-page, two volume report.
The three-year plan outlines seven goals, including creating more land use certainty, more local control over resources, nurturing the human resource base, creating a better business climate, better infrastructure (power, transportation), and more.
The strategies for achieving these goals are summarized in five main sections: infrastructure, sector development (forestry, fishing, tourism, agriculture), human resources and implementation.
For example, under forestry, the strategies include leveraging of proposed community forest tenures into long-term economically viable licences and requesting the province to establish BC Timber Sales pricing and sales policies that are more reflective of local conditions.
The report says the key component for the implementation of this community viability strategy is finding adequate financial resources and organizational capacity to execute the plan.
The report states: “An economic development office will have to be established to implement the plan.”
The community viability planning process has been underway since the fall and included strategy sessions and planning with island elected officials and other stakeholders including small business, tourism industry, forestry, arts and cultural workers. The process began as a part of the memorandum of understanding between the province and the Council of the Haida Nation which came out of the Islands Spirit Rising initiative.
Mr. Nicol said they intend to hold a final workshop with the stakeholders who attended planning sessions in the fall and go over who is going to implement the strategy and the resources needed.