Regional economic development plan

RDBN board of directors approves plan for 2022-2024


The board of directors for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) have approved the regional economic development plan for 2022 to 2024.

The plan outline several strategic areas of focus, including connectivity and infrastructure. The RDBN plans to provide reliable, high-speed internet, cellular service, and other critical infrastructure were identified as barriers to economic and social development for the region such as affordable housing.

The plan indicates that an agreement for regional broadband service is to be completed this year.

The actions laid out to achieve these goals are pursuing public-private partnerships to facilitate broadband infrastructure development, and researching ways to secure funding to address housing gaps.

Another key point is tourism, attraction and retention. This will involve collaboration with partners along Highway 16 to allow the RDBN to leverage minimal contributions for maximum impact in tourism marketing, as well as promotion of the established #visitbulkleynechako brand and website through media channels.

In addition, the RDBN intends to complete region-wide Geo-tagged Asset Map and market to locals and visitors

Retaining, supporting, and attracting a diverse, youthful population, including entrepreneurs was identified as a priority also.

READ MORE: Housing report reveals RDBN in fairly good shape

Collaboration is another area of focus outlined in the report, and has to do with regional collaboration between local and First Nations governments. The RDBN hired a First Nations Liaison in the fall of 2021, whose job is to identify and facilitate opportunities for partnership projects between several stakeholders.

READ MORE: Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako 2022 parks and trail budget

The RDBN will also continue to explore opportunities for collaboration with economic development initiatives relating to First Nations agreements, such as Pathway Forward 2.0 and Lake Babine Nation Foundation Agreement.

The fourth area of focus in the plan pertains to support for agriculture, including climate change and food security, which is considered a high priority. This includes exploring opportunities for local skills training and job or business opportunities related to food processing and green technology.

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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