District and economic group won’t form new partnership

The District of Sooke won’t be part of the South Vancouver Island Economic Development Association after all.

  • Wed Feb 17th, 2016 11:00am
  • News

A corrected version of the story is below:

The District of Sooke won’t be part of the South Vancouver Island Economic Development Association after all.

In an in-camera meeting Jan. 25, Sooke council decided not to join the group although there was initial enthusiasm and support for the project.

Instead, the district is looking at supporting the fledgling West Shore Economic Development Group.

“We [council] originally thought the South Island group was a good opportunity,” said acting mayor Kerrie Reay, “but as decisions started to be made we recognized it was a disadvantage to Sooke businesses.”

The idea behind the SVIEDA was to bring together private and public sectors to help rebuild Greater Victoria’s lagging economy and create more good paying jobs.

Greater Victoria’s gross domestic product growth slid from fourth in 2008 to 27th in 2013 among Canada’s largest metropolitan areas.

Under the SVIEDA proposal, each community would pay to operate the economic agency based on a five-year fixed funding plan.

Colwood and Langford also have concerns about SVIEDA too and have floated a plan to create West Shore Economic Development Group.

The group would work in collaboration with the municipalities in the West Shore, and it would be more affordable and controlled by area businesses.