Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
Regional Economic Investment Pilot - North Fraser
North Fraser has been selected as a pilot region for the Province’s Regional Economic Investment Pilot, a key initiative of the BC Jobs Plan. Located along the north shore of the Fraser River in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, the North Fraser region encompasses Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Mission. The region was selected for its strategic location minutes from the Canada–United States border, and for the communities’ collaborative approach to economic development spearheaded by the region’s economic development organization, Invest North Fraser. By partnering with the region’s local governments and businesses the pilot will build on this collaborative approach to advance key job creation and investment projects.
For more information:
Images courtesy of Picture B.C.
The North Fraser Economic Development Forum launched the North Fraser pilot, on December 8th 2011, by bringing together community and business leaders to identify and prioritize key economic development initiatives in the region.
Unable to attend the Forum? Read below for more information.
Building off this momentum, the region’s local Economic Development Officers and Ministry of Jobs Tourism and Skills Training staff reviewed the identified projects establishing a list of nine potential projects based on the following criteria:
- Strategic alignment
- Project readiness
- Community impact
- Project feasibility
- Ability to implement
- Developing the Mission Interpretive Forest to expand and enhance regional tourism, forestry and natural resource industries.
- Creating a North Fraser Tourism and Recreational Corridor to achieve a more cohesive and effective tourism approach.
- Expanding the Pitt Meadows Airport International Education/Business Park by attracting businesses and increasing international education program offerings.
- Developing a North Fraser Agri-food Distribution Hub to enable regional producers to capitalize on existing business opportunities, attract investment and better coordinate their efforts to expand the demand for locally grown produce.
- Establishing a North Fraser Centre of Excellence, including a business innovation accelerator, a green building technology centre and a working farm school.
The Province and the North Fraser communities will work together to advance components of the above projects.
December 6, 2012
On November 28, 2012 tourism stakeholders from the North Fraser communities of Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission came together to discuss development of a Regional Tourism Strategy. Participants learned about the tourism assets in each community, identified regional tourism priorities and provided input into a strategy that will draw more tourists to the three communities. A 12-18 month tourism strategy will be launched in Winter 2013.
November 16, 2012
Mission Interpretive Forest
The Province, in partnership with the District of Mission, has just completed surface improvements to the Florence Lake Road in support of growing recreational tourism in the Mission Interpretive Forest. The first 8.4 kilometres of the road have received grading and fresh gravel to provide a smoother, safer driving surface for those looking for recreational opportunities in the area. The Province and the District of Mission have partnered on this project with a value of approximately $400,000. These improvements build on the previous federal-provincial investment of $1.2 million.
North Fraser Centre of Excellence – Business Innovation Accelerator in Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge has recently partnered with the BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) to expand BCTIA’s successful Centre 4Growth acceleration program. The Centre4Growth program offers access to CEOs in Residence and local entrepreneurs will have access to growth introductions to potential investors and customers, and an e-Library of 800+ resources and tools. Entrepreneurs in the North Fraser region will now be able to access these valuable services and programs without leaving the region.
North Fraser Tourism
Building on work to pull together the three communities’ tourism plans and priorities, a regional tourism sector working session is scheduled for the afternoon of November 28th in Maple Ridge. This session will engage stakeholders on topics related to establishing regional tourism priorities that span across all three communities and identifying complimentary tourism opportunities that can bolster overall tourism.
- Mission: Stacey Crawford, Economic Development Officer
- Maple Ridge: Sandy Blue, Manager Strategic Economic Initiatives
- Pitt Meadows: Kate Zanon, CEO, Pitt Meadows Economic development Corporation
- Provincial Lead: Amy Schneider, International Trade and Investment Division, Ministry of Jobs Tourism and Skills Training, email@example.com
- Media: Scott Colbourne, Government Communications and Public Engagement, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Scott.Colbourne@gov.bc.ca, 250 952-0163
- Website: Darby Cameron, Economic Development Division, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, firstname.lastname@example.org