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Posted: November 13, 2016

Message from the Mayor

U.Juras 8By Mayor Ute Juras

Village of Canal Flats

Here we are a year later after the closure of the mill. It was a devastating blow to our community, not just losing the main employer of the village but also seeing the end of an industry that largely defined us.

Since the closure, council has been working very hard to build a future for the village without the mill. Thanks to grant money from the Columbia Basin Trust and the Province of B.C. we were able to hire two Economic/Business Liaisons. They have come up with the following recommendations:

Investment Attraction

– Business Connect Program – direct contact with business community. Facilitate/nurture one expansion opportunity.

– Canfor (mill site) negotiation to create employment centre lands

Marketing

– A “Welcome” billboard seeking to nurture transition of recreational property owners to full time residency in Canal Flats. Forty-four per cent of all resident-owned properties in Canal Flats are recreational property owners.

Policy

– Review Development Approval Process with aim of making it more seamless/proactive for development community.

Stretch Initiative

Pursue initiative to construct the fastest broadband in the Columbia Valley – a key enabler of footloose business activity.

One Small Initiative

In-Village Wayfinding to source of the Columbia River (the most commonly requested direction from visitors).

Council has applied to the Provincial Rural Dividend Program to implement these recommendations.

Otherwise, I can say that we are holding our own since the closure. The real estate market has seen some movement in the past year seeing new residents coming into Canal Flats. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome them to our wonderful community.

We also saw some activity in our business community with a new business opening in July and an existing business expanding. Additionally, it is my understanding that the numbers in the school are also holding steady.

To summarize, I think this shows that we are a resilient community, which is able to adapt to any situation. We still have a lot of work to do to make us economically viable but I think we are well on our way.

In other news, Councillor Sterzer and I attended the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Annual Conference in Victoria in September. This is always an excellent opportunity to come together with colleagues from other communities, meet with Provincial Ministers and attend educational sessions and workshops. Our reports will be available on the website.

At this point, I would like to give a big shout out to the organizers of the second annual Fall Fair and Artisan Market for another successful event. All of your hard work has once again paid off.

A special Thank You also goes out to Councillors Delorme and Marcil for spending the day there to introduce the Tilley Memorial Master Plan.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions/concerns (Phone: 250-489-9070, E-mail: [email protected])


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