New society plans to hire economic development officer

  • Jan. 25, 2008 11:00 a.m.

The new Misty Isles Economic Development Society has launched a Canada-wide search for an economic development officer for the islands. Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha said directors decided to start advertising the position at their first meeting, which was held Jan. 14. She said the society doesn’t have any money yet, but that the Northern Development Initiative Trust has grants of $35,000 available for each municipality and regional district in the north for economic development. Ms Kulesha said the society’s directors, who include the mayors of all three municipalities on the islands, agreed to apply for their grants and then turn the money over to the Misty Isles Economic Development Society so it could hire an officer who will serve the entire islands. The plan needs the approval of each council.Port Clements village council approved the idea Monday night (Jan. 21) but approval was not so easily obtained in Queen Charlotte. At that community’s council meeting, also held Jan. 21, councillor Kris Olsen asked that the decision be tabled because he had no idea who the society’s directors are and what direction they are planning to take. He said he was uncomfortable “throwing committees money” without knowing what is going on. Mr. Olsen was out of town for the last meeting of council when notice of the $35,000 first appeared on the agenda. The minutes of the meeting noted that the topic was tabled until Jan. 21. Acting Mayor Greg Martin, who was sitting in Mayor Carol Kulesha’s chair while she was out of town, said he understood the allocation of the money was time sensitive. But he could only name the five elected directors of the 17 on the new society. “This has been ongoing for sometime,” he said, but offered no further details on the society. Mr. Olsen was not satisfied and made a motion to table the resolution until February. The motion was supported by Mr. Olsen and Councillor Eric Ross. It was opposed by Mr. Martin and Councillor Gladys Noddin. With the mayor away, the vote was tied, meaning the motion was defeated. Next Ms Noddin made a motion to pass the resolution. This time the motion passed, with only Mr. Olsen voting against. Ms Noddin said the resolution only allocated the 2008 funds. “If it doesn’t work out that MIEDS is effective, it will have to be thought over for the 2009 allocation,” she said. Meanwhile, the society released the names of all its directors Tuesday morning. The five founding members are Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha, Port Clements mayor Cory Delves (the chair of the society), Masset mayor Barry Pages, Area D director Ian Hetman, and Area E director Travis Glasman. The 12 new directors are: Hyland Fraser, Sarah Loewen, Len Munt, Brian Charman, Maureen Weddell, Skye Cantin, Roly Thompson, Ian Gould, Chris Marrs, Shirley Kricheldorf, Bill Mackay and Bob Ells. Mr. Delves said there were more people interested in serving as a board director than there were positions. “For individuals not serving as a director, the board will continue to reach out to the communities to participate in workshops and future initiatives as they are developed,” he said.

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