In response to the unforeseen curtailment of operations at Neucel Mill, the Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW) held an Economic Development Forum to support economic development solutions in the region. Complementary to existing individual community economic development strategies (including the related Port Alice Economic Development Strategy), the Forum was intended to be a broader, coordinated effort, with a regional focus. The funding for this project was provided as part of a joint Province of BC and ICET intervention to support short term economic response to the industrial curtailment.
This project convened North Island communities in a North Island Economic Forum that focused on identifying a strategic development plan for the tourism sector in the North Island. The regional strategies identified build on the Vancouver Island North Tourism Committee (VINT), the North Island Regional Protocol, the BC Jobs Plan and stated community values.
The Community-to-Community Forum was held in March, 2016, and had more than 110 registrants, with presenters from Tourism Vancouver Island and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. The forum helped establish a priority list of tourist sector development initiatives that have the support and backing of all communities in the RDMW and to identify key action areas and a plan for implementation of regional sector strategies.