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Take a Peek Inside this Week...

Photo — Kathy O'Reilly

Rose Kochan’s grandson Tyler Howard is understandably a big fan of her crochet work that was for sale at the Port Hardy Farmers’ and Artisans Market June 27.

Chamber president elected to BC body

North Island Eagle, July 1 2022

Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce President, Chris Callanan has been elected to the Board of Directors of the BC Chamber of Commerce.

“The Port Hardy Chamber is pleased to have Chris’s voice representing the North Island on the BC Chamber Board and looks forward to having the rural and remote perspective included in discussions at this level,” says Elizabeth Aman-Hume, executive director of the Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce.

Callanan joined the Port Hardy Chamber Board of Directors in 2019 and has since served as Vice President and now as President. 

Callanan is the regional manager for North Island Employment Foundations Society (NIEFS) and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise. He has also served on the Policy Review Committee for the BC Chamber of Commerce over the past year.

Callanan says “it’s been a privilege to have supported the membership through the Policy Review Committee, but now to be at the table with other business leaders is really exciting. Ensuring that the business and community perspectives of the smaller, rural communities across Northern Vancouver Island are considered and heard is something I am very passionate about, and I look forward to bringing that to the BC Chamber of Commerce as a Director.”

“Chris is an enthusiastic and dedicated supporter of our Chamber, and he devotes many hours of his time and expertise to ensuring the Port Hardy Chamber stays strong and focused on the needs of our members. Knowing that North Island businesses will have such a strong supporter in a provincial setting is good news for all of us,” said Aman-Hume.

 

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Photo —  Submitted

Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce President, Chris Callanan has been elected to the Board of Directors of the BC Chamber of Commerce.

A program that has helped kickstart numerous programs on the North Island is ending.

Created and funded by the Province of British Columbia in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) has been at the forefront of economic diversification, planning and regional revitalization in the Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast region.

Through a community centered decision-making process, ICET has invested funds in a wide range of economic development and community building initiatives on the North Island.

To date, over $55 million in funding has been approved to support more than 280 projects resulting in total regional investments of more than $300 million, creating an estimated 2,600 construction phase jobs and 2,750 long-term permanent jobs.

In early 2018, the province provided new funding of $10 million to enable ICET to continue its work.

Historically, ICET has received much less funding than other similar organizations throughout the province, said Chair Andrew Hory at the Regional District of Mount Waddington monthly board meeting June 22.

This means that while other areas were able to operate off the interest on the principle, ICET has not had that same luxury.

“The reality is that we are within two years of ICET having no funds and so that means within a year, ICET will have to declare that it is ceasing operations, entering the last year of funding with their current money,” Hory said.

“There is a campaign to engage with the province to try to get an equitable version of what is happening elsewhere in the province, but it remains to be seen if that will be successful or not,” he said.

“ICET will at the beginning of the next fiscal year make an announcement that they are entering their last year of operations unless, of course, something changes in the meantime.”

“I talked to Brodie Guy, who is the CEO for ICET, and we are looking at getting him to come up” for a meeting the first week of August, said Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas. 

“Maybe Wednesday or Thursday of that week and we will be inviting mayors and chairs and whoever else would like to attend, along with indigenous nations in our region, to sit down and talk about how we can be supportive moving forward to get more funding for our area,” Dugas said.

 

ICET funding end may be on the horizon

By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle, July 1 2022

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