Funding problem for MIEDS

  • May. 6, 2011 4:00 p.m.

The Misty Isles Economic Development Society has run into a funding problem. In a letter sent to the islands mayors and regional district directors on Monday (May 2), chair Evan Putterill explained that the Coast Sustainability Trust won’t be releasing $70,000 of promised funding to MIEDS until an important document is endorsed by all communities. The document is the Community Viability Strategy, completed by consultants in 2007 as part of the land use plan process. Mr. Putterill’s letter says that “we have recently learned that the Community Viability Strategy has never been accepted by the communities by resolution, despite having formed the basis for many of the strategic priorities that are being worked on in each of the communities and on the islands in general.” No one from MIEDS or the Coast Sustainability Trust was aware until recently that the strategy had never received formal acceptance from the communities. The situation can be resolved, Mr. Putterill wrote, by having each community adopt a resolution suggested by the Coast Sustainability Trust. The resolution says that the community accepts the strategy as the regional economic plan and a living document that can be amended. Considering the situation Monday night (May 2), Port Clements council members were wary of making a quick decision. “I really don’t know where this strategy came from,” said councillor Wally Cheer. “Who prepared this strategy and where did it come from?… Never has it been presented to council for approval before.” Mr. Cheer and other council members agreed that they wanted to read over the full strategy before endorsing it. Council voted to table the issue to its next meeting May 16. Queen Charlotte council also discussed the issue when it met Monday, then tabled it until its next meeting.