The Regional District of Mount Waddington is still facing the impacts of almost two decades of declines in traditional sectors including forestry, fishing, and mining. While there has been some recent stabilization, populations have declined, and a demographic profile change has resulted in a loss of professional services and general labour attraction and retention issues. Community-level economic planning is one important piece of the economic renewal, but sector-specific planning was needed.
The Regional sectoral planning project was developed with a focus on “strategic” sectors, in terms of total contributions (employment plus investment) to the local economy as well as to future development potential. For each strategic sector, the study developed a profile showing current status, recent trends, opportunities and policy positions to influence future development.
The final document summarizes key demographic and economic activity trends, and identifies infrastructure and resources of high priority that support and enhance the economic strength of the region in five sectors: forestry, marine, small business, tourism, and the ‘learning’ sector. Sectoral-specific work plans with action items for implementation were developed, providing a solid foundation on which the RDMW can develop policies and actions to support the local economy over the next five years.