The Cowichan Post sent a survey to 35 local politicians asking questions about their views on economic development.

Guess what?   There is no election coming anytime soon so ONLY TWO got back to us. Count us cynical but this seems a bit odd. Kudos to the pair below who took the time to give us some answers.



Alison Nicholson,
Cowichan Station/Sahtlam/Glenora, CVRD Director

  1. Would you please summarize what you believe the economic development function is all about?Connecting the community, businesses and local government to build a more livable, workable and stable community.
  2. Currently in Cowichan, economic development operates as a regional function.  Does this regional approach provide value and meet your expectations for your local government jurisdiction?Yes a regional approach links our assets and opportunities together and provides an economy of scale. A good example is the recent regional industrial land inventory and needs assessment spearheaded by Economic Development Cowichan.
  3. Do you have direct evidence of that value in your community and what is that?Tourism Cowichan has provided excellent regional branding that has benefited my community’s many wineries, farms, and artisans.
  4. Is the economic development function about job creation?Economic development is more about a process – a multi-faceted process – to address barriers to sustainable businesses and employment –
  5. Can a local government directly create jobs? If not, what can local governments do to make new employment opportunities become real?No. Important example is land use – Local government is directly responsible for land use –ensuring the right mix of land uses across a community is good for business.
  6. What type of economic development would you prefer attracting to Cowichan and why?The type of businesses that build/capitalize on our existing assets and go easy on the environment. We are a small-scale community and small-scale specialty businesses such as value-added food and wood products, fit best.

 

Mike Wilson,
Cobble Hill CVRD Director

  1. Would you please summarize what you believe the economic development function is all about?I am still unclear as to what they actually do and what they have achieved.
  2. Currently in Cowichan, economic development operates as a regional function.  Does this regional approach provide value and meet your expectations for your local government jurisdiction?No.
  3. Do you have direct evidence of that value in your community and what is that?I have seen no new industries attracted at all
  4. Is the economic development function about job creation?It should be – By bringing in entrepreneurs who will in turn provide jobs.
  5. Can a local government directly create jobs?  If not, what can local governments do to make new employment opportunities become real?No, they cannot unless it is within their own organisation….. What can they do? Employ an Ec. Dev. manager who actually achieves something.
  6. What type of economic development would you prefer attracting to Cowichan and why?Hi-Tech or value added, small manufacturing in the electronics industry — These provide well paid jobs with little pollution.

 

 




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