COURTENAY, 25 July 2023 – This past year was one of incredible collaboration, consensus-building, and deep reciprocal commitment between people across the coast, the Trust, and more than 250 communities whom we work for.
Our Trust empowers people, communities, and partners across coastal British Columbia to build a resilient economy that strengthens the wellbeing of all people and our environment. In 2022-23, we committed $2.8 million to inclusive economic development, diversification, and innovation projects. Through our partnerships with First Nations, local governments, non-profits, and businesses we committed and are leveraging over $15 million of new investment into our region this year.
We invite you to read through our new 2022-23 Impact Report (12MB – PDF) as we hear from islanders and coastal people about their inspiring projects, the deep impact people are achieving for each other and their local economies, and the unprecedented level of collaboration and commitment leaders across the coast are realizing with this, their Trust.
In 2022, coastal communities convened at their council and board tables met with the public, local organizations, and their M.L.A.s, and came together at the Regional Advisory Committees – formed by the provincial government to provide strategic advice to the Trust’s board. Through these discussions a consensus vision was formed by leaders from across the coast focusing on a single shared goal: Transform the Trust into a permanent, co-governed, regional development organization for coastal communities.
We have been deeply moved as we bear witness to the love, commitment, and value that communities have expressed for this, their Trust. To honour this, we created the Trust’s first comprehensive business plan with an actionable proposal for the Province of British Columbia to partner with First Nations and local governments to realize the transformation of our Trust into an impactful, inclusive, and sustainably financed regional development organization. This is the work communities have called for as a top regional priority, and we’re committed to partnering with the Province to transform the Trust for the benefit of all Indigenous people and British Columbians we serve.
Through an investment of at least $150 million, we have demonstrated through a financially conservative 25-year pro forma financial model that we will yield a 180% return-on-investment for the provincial government while enabling a direct economic impact of $980 million every 25 years, for generations to come. Such a one-time investment will completely transform the Trust, ending the region’s historic dependency on short-term government funding transfers every few years with dissolution of the Trust ever present, to one where we generate significant income that empowers leaders to work strategically with a long-term approach to investing in people, places, and projects that move our economy forward.
While leaders across our region continue to work with the provincial government to invest in our vision and business plan, we are grateful for the provincial government’s announcement this March that $10 million will be provided to each of B.C.’s three economic trusts.
In March this year, we published our new 2023-2026 Strategic Plan that outlines the strategic goals and objectives we are working to achieve by 2026. Our board paused to reflect on what we’ve learned since our founding and what is needed in the years ahead. We’re proud to share our new Vision, Mission, Core Values, and Strategic Goals with you in this year’s Impact Report.
Partnerships continue to be central to realizing inclusive economic development across the coast. We would like to express our gratitude to the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation for partnering with us to fund the new Rural Advisory Program that we launched in February; the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for partnering with us to fund a new inter-community passenger transportation study that we launched in May; and to 4VI and Destination BC for their continued support of our Community Placemaking program.
We look forward to continuing to build on our work together as we strengthen prosperity and wellbeing across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and island and inlet communities from the Salish Sea to Cape Caution for years to come.
About Island Coastal Economic Trust
Founded by the Province of British Columbia in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust works to build a sustainable and resilient coastal economy in reciprocal relationships with First Nations, municipalities, and regional districts across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and islands and inlets from the Salish Sea to Cape Caution. Serving over half a million residents, we partner with communities in the development and financing of their economic infrastructure and diversification efforts through our unique structure that is led by, and accountable to, communities.
Since our inception, Island Coastal Economic Trust has approved more than $59 million to economic development initiatives that have attracted over $323 million in new investment to our region. These investments have created over 2,910 permanent jobs, and countless positive impacts, across the coast.
Island Coastal Economic Trust acknowledges that we work for communities across the ancestral and unceded territories of the Kwak̓wala, Nuučaan̓uɫ, Éy7á7juuthem, Ligwilda’xw, Pəntl’áč, She shashishalhem, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Hul’q’umi’num’, diitiidʔaatx̣, SENĆOŦEN, Lekwungen, and T’Sou-ke speaking peoples
Island Coastal Economic Trust