MIEDS director addresses QC council

  • Dec. 14, 2009 11:00 a.m.

Misty Islands Economic Development Society executive director made his first report to the public at the December 7th Queen Charlotte council meeting. He had a long list of activities and requests for funding to go over with council and he said he’ll be making more regular appearances at Islands council meetings. “I’ve admittedly done a pretty poor job of communicating with the public, said Mr. Glasman, who took his post in June. Mr. Glasman needed QC council’s approval of his report to the Northern Development Initiative in order to receive the $30,000 allocated to each of the Islands communities for 2009. He already received the regional district’s approval (who allocated $15,000 of their NDI funds to MIEDS) and was seeking similar support from Port Clements and Masset for their allocations of the NDI’s Economic Development Capacity Building Funding. If MIEDS can prove they have been working in collaboration with each community they will also be eligible for an extra $5,000 from each community’s share ($2500 from the regional district). This allotment, which adds up to $122,500, is core funding for the society, he said. The report goes over all of MIEDS activities through 2009, including work on tourism, community forestry and job readiness after high school initiatives. Mr. Glasman also asked for support from QC for NDI’s 2010 economic development funds. All QC councillors voted in favour of this, except Leslie Johnson who said she does not support MIEDS as it is structured now. She would like to see 50/50 representation of communities and Haida Nation. Mr. Glasman requested support for a further share of a separate Queen Charlotte’s NDI allotment (valued at approx. $180,000). This time for a new destination marketing website for the islands. He is asking for $5000 from the regional fund allotment from each community for a total of $20,000. He says unlike the various other islands tourism websites, like the QC Visitor Information Centre’s site or the Haida Gwaii Tourism Association, the website would be collaboratively developed. “The intention of this one is to achieve a website of the caliber of Tourism Whistler. Haida Gwaii is a drawing card of that caliber,” he said. He says the website will also be used as part of the Vancouver venue project during the Olympics. He is also seeking $75,000 from the Coast Sustainability Trust for the Vancouver venue which will launch the destination marketing project with a proposed $216,000 budget. He asked for support for an application for an agriculture strategy for Haida Gwaii that will have an estimated $50,000 to $80,000 cost. Mr. Glasman also spoke generally about MIEDS. There is an expectation that MIEDS is about creating a bunch of jobs real quick and saving peoples homes, he said. But according to Mr. Glasman, community economic development looks far into the future – sometimes as far as 100 years forward. “Other organizations are better prepared for the shorter term,” he said. Some of his priorities are developing the entrepreneurial spirit on the islands. He said the number of new businesses generated by people who live here is “sorely lacking.” He also thinks governance, education and higher education are important future priorities. In other MIEDS news, Port Clements council also voted to approve MIEDS request for core NDI funding. Mayor Cory Delves said Port has approved this same decision in the past two years and that $30,000 is not enough money for the community to do economic development work on its own. As for the funding request for the website and the Vancouver venue, Port council approved a motion to write a letter of supporting the CST application and offered conditional support to the NDI application, as long as it had no direct impact on Port’s allotment.

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