May 1, 2012
PRINCE GEORGE – Hundreds of businesses, non-profits, First Nations, and local governments in central and northern British Columbia are showcasing business expansion and economic development projects in their communities in partnership with Northern Development Initiative Trust via the launch of the ‘Building A Stronger North’ web portal. Over $1 billion in new investment in the region is creating more than 5,000 jobs across forty communities.
“We are excited to launch this website that will enable businesses, non-profits, First Nations, and local governments throughout British Columbia to connect with each other to build a stronger north,” stated Evan Saugstad, Chair of Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Northern Development’s new ‘Building A Stronger North’ website at www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca invites British Columbians to interact and learn about exciting communities – take a virtual tour of the Haida Heritage Centre, hear from the people that spearheaded the Northwest Powerline Coalition, see many of the great rodeos that are held every summer in the north, learn about airport and port expansions, and directly connect with the people behind each project. There are hundreds of stories being told online that showcase how central and northern BC communities are working to develop the sectors that are crucial to the province’s economy: mining and mineral exploration, forestry and bioenergy, tourism, transportation, small business, mountain pine beetle economic recovery, and more.
“It is amazing to see the breadth and depth of projects that have been championed by communities all across our region,” said Gerald Wesley, Vice Chair of Northern Development and Chief Negotiator for the Tsimshian First Nations Treaty Society. “This is a fabulous resource we can use to connect with other businesses, First Nations, and non-profits so we can learn from each other and build on an already strong network.”
Northern Development’s staff and board have a goal of ensuring communities excel at maximizing funding opportunities to create new opportunities and invest in quality of life across the region. It’s now easier than ever to connect with the people who are building their communities and a stronger regional economy on the new website and by joining the discussion and staying up-to-date with new region-wide events and news on Facebook and Twitter.
Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman notes, “By harnessing social media and the wealth of knowledge that is now accessible online from Northern Development, our local businesses, non-profit groups, First Nations, and our municipality will be able to be even more interconnected with innovative economic development approaches whether they occur in Haida Gwaii, the Cariboo, or in our neighbouring communities in northeast BC.”
The Province of British Columbia placed a huge measure of confidence in the strategic, long-term thinking of northern leadership when it created Northern Development Initiative Trust through legislation enacted in 2004. The sustainable $200 million Trust will enable generations of community development for the public good of British Columbia. A range of Northern Development funding programs for communities, rural areas, not-for-profits, First Nations, and business have already supported 973 projects across central and northern BC. Since inception, Northern Development has committed to investing $111 million in partnership with 1,726 organizations, attracting over $1 billion in new investment to the region and creating over 5,154 new jobs.
In addition to the new website, 120,000 residents and local businesses throughout central and northern British Columbia will receive Northern Development’s Spring 2012 Report To The Region in early May. This publication is an effort to ensure residents receive news about the positive work led by local organizations throughout the region while also receiving a bi-annual update on the positive economic, social, and environmental benefits that continue to be supported by Northern Development funding investments and capacity building initiatives.
Director, Market Development
Northern Development Initiative Trust
About Northern Development
Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic growth and job creation in central and northern British Columbia.
For information on Northern Development and the community economic development projects being led in communities throughout central and northern British Columbia, visit: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/