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Smithers to create economic plan

Town has been without one since 2017
Smithers town hall. (Marisca Bakker/ The Interior News)

The Town of Smithers is working toward creating an economic development plan.

The town has been without one since 2017 when economic development services were provided through the former Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association.

Town council voted to award the Town of Smithers Economic Development Plan contract to Rynic, out of Ocotoks, AB, in the amount of $30,000 at its Sept. 12 regular meeting.

Community services director Will George (who until recently was the town’s economic development officer) told Smithers council that a plan that reflects the current economic landscape in the community will have overarching impacts.

“With a history of economic development provided both in-house and externally, the town, through the creation of this plan, can bring community voices with common interests together for a shared economic vision,” George wrote in his report to council.

“The current economic landscape in Smithers identifies a need for this plan and suggests the necessity for strengthening existing assets and building new initiatives to support a framework focused on equity, inclusion, sustainability, development, and a place-based approach that benefits the whole community.”

According to George, the plan will serve as the overall decision-making tool for council and the community, over a five-year period. It will include a prioritized list of short, medium, and long-term recommendations for future investment and identifying opportunities for collaboration and partnership with the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako, the Office of Wet’suwet’en, and the business sector.

The plan is expected to highlight the benefits of collaboration in community economic development, economic investment, placemaking, and support growing the economic pie in the community.

George is hoping council will see a final plan for consideration and adoption in June 2024.

READ MORE: Smithers Fire Rescue sees large spike in calls, labour hours in July


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Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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