Mayor Bill McKay was appointed chairman of the new economic development commission by Nanaimo city council.

2016 Year in Review: City of Nanaimo opts for new economic commission

NANAIMO – Arm’s-length corporation disbanded after firing, resignations and reorganization.

The Harbour City’s economic future will be in the hands of the new Nanaimo Economic Development Commission next year.

Nanaimo city council has opted to wind down operations of its arm’s-length Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation Jan. 31 and strike a commission chaired by Mayor Bill McKay.

The commission is expected to be created next month after city council considers the makeup and terms of reference, including what kind of authority it will have.

The move comes at a time the city is also in the process of figuring out how tourism will be delivered after an earlier decision to pull the portfolio from the NEDC.

The NEDC took on tourism and economic development in 2011, with the city as its primary shareholder. In the wake of a core services review, council decided to have the corporation handle only economic development under a new partnering agreement.

NEDC’s third chief executive officer, John Hankins, was fired a day after going public with his questions and concerns about the city decision, and the organization has seen mass resignations. Nine of 16 board members quit in October, including chairman Andre Sullivan; another member had resigned in September. Snuneymuxw First Nation Coun. Erralyn Thomas, elected chairwoman of NEDC after Sullivan’s departure, resigned this month.

Two people formally expressed interest in being on the board when the city opened up nominations to fill seats.

McKay told the News Bulletin the nail in the coffin of the NEDC was the termination of its chief executive officer and resignation of most of the board.

City council now has a transition process to build a vision for tourism and establish a new entity, which council agreed will involve a tourism advisory committee, a contract with Tourism Vancouver Island for destination marketing and development, and stakeholder engagement.

For economic development, two unionized NEDC employees will be transferred to the city to support the new commission and the city will look to hire a manager later in 2017.

Four of six remaining NEDC board members have shown interest in the commission, according to the city.

“It’s very, very exciting,” said McKay in a previous interview. “This commission, we believe or I believe, is going to provide a closer link between the business community and the decision makers.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nanaimo chef the Sensitive Vegan takes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious cooking

Jesse Rubboli creates cassava-based recipes and shares them via YouTube and on social media

Resident helps man in distress in Departure Bay in the middle of the night

Seven-foot-tall resident able to wade out far enough to help ‘frantic’ man in the water

Crash causes injuries, traffic tie-ups in downtown Nanaimo

Accident happened Friday at 12:15 p.m. at Terminal Avenue and Comox Road

Gabriola skatepark project gets $567,000 infrastructure grant

Federal and provincial governments providing money for Huxley Park amenities

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Colour and culture being painted onto plaza stairs in downtown Nanaimo

City commissions Humanity in Art muralists for ‘artistic intervention’ project

Nanaimo’s newest skatepark now open for use in Harewood

Harewood Centennial Park amenity opens on schedule

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Most Read