A graphic from the ICET’s 10th Annual Report

Minister says no to ICET top-up

A response sure to put a damper on the ICET’s celebration of 10 years leveraging economic development on Vancouver Island

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Shirley Bond has said ‘no’ to the idea of topping up the Island Coastal Economic Trust fund, a response sure to put a damper on the ICET’s celebration of 10 years leveraging economic development on Vancouver Island.

“Twenty-sixteen is the tenth anniversary of ICET’s founding, and looking back over the nearly $50 million in investments we’ve made, it’s amazing to see the impact on communities,” Duncan Mayor and ICET Chair Phil Kent said in an announcement of the organizations 10th Annual Report.

“ICET funding has helped to create new jobs, develop new revenue streams, and diversify the economy. We are very grateful to the Province of BC for their vision in creating the model and their trust in our communities, enabling us to set our own priorities and take ownership of our future.”

But with $49.6 million of the original trust funding already spent, the ICET’s benefits will stop flowing soon unless its bank account can be replenished. On Monday Bond shut the door on any hopes the province will kick in more money.

“The Island Coastal Economic Trust, like the province’s other regional trusts, was established with a one-time grant opportunity to be used as the Board determined most appropriate for the regions and communities it serves,” Bond said in a response emailed to the Chronicle Monday, Aug. 22.

“We recognize the great work ICET has done in the ten years since it was established and the Board should be proud of its achievements. At this time there are no plans to provide additional funding for ICET beyond the original, one-time funding of $50 million allocated in 2006.”

To date money plowed back into communities has leveraged $4.61 new dollars for every ICET dollar invested – more the $228 million. The money has helped get more than 160 projects in 60 communities off the drawing boards, creating 2,570 short term construction jobs and 2,595 post completion jobs.

But getting to yes would have meant convincing the province that there was a justification for the different financial model that was adopted here from two other trusts that received funding similar to ICET – The Northern Development Initiative Trust and The Southern Development Interior Trust.

Both those still have money in the bank because they have been operating under self-financing models, providing loans, or finding other sources to replenish their original trust funding.

Local government decision-makers at the ICET table decided that the need for infrastructure funding was more urgent here.

“There was an accumulated backlog of infrastructure that needed to be built,” Robert said. “The money needed to be invested very quickly.”

 

Just Posted

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

Bungy jump naked in support of mental health programs

Registration open for annual fundraiser for BC Schizophrenia Society

Four weather extremes in just six months a cause for concern

Global warming contributing to the full gamut of conditions

Column: Snow reveals the character of a community

For every internet complainer there were two more willing to help a neighbour

Car fire destroys vehicle in Chemainus

Traffic rerouted for a short time at the Henry Road roundabout

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Most Read