Members of the City of Nanaimo’s mayor’s task force on recovery and resilience include Coun. Tyler Brown, left, Ian Simpson, Donna Hais, Mayor Leonard Krog, Signy Madden and James Byrne, as well as Deborah Saucier, who is not pictured. (City of Nanaimo image)

Task force getting started on guiding Nanaimo’s economic recovery out of pandemic

Mayor’s task force on recovery and resilience holds first meeting today, May 14

The pandemic isn’t over, but economic recovery is underway in some respects.

The City of Nanaimo’s mayor’s task force on recovery and resilience holds its inaugural meeting Thursday, May 14, after being announced earlier this month.

“This is a strange and difficult and challenging time. It is a time like none of us have ever seen before,” said Mayor Leonard Krog at last week’s press conference introducing the members of the task force. “But we are going to get through this and with this team working on your behalf, on behalf of this whole community, we are going to get through it and we are going to come out the other end in a better place, a more resilient community, a community ready to face the future.”

The purpose of the task force, according to its terms of reference, are to provide strategic recommendations to council which will inform the city’s financial planning; work collaboratively with other public bodies, private institutions, organizations and businesses; identify and support community-driven ideas and solutions; and develop a plan for relief and recovery out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Krog and Coun. Tyler Brown are local government representatives on the task force. Other members include Deborah Saucier, VIU president; Signy Madden, executive director of United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island; Donna Hais, chairwoman of the Port of Nanaimo; Ian Simpson, CEO of Snuneymuxw’s Petroglyph Development Group; and James Byrne, MNP regional managing partner for Vancouver Island.

Krog said the tourism/hospitality sector has been particularly devastated by the effects of the pandemic, while some other sectors are adapting reasonably well.

“It’s not just around the economics of it, it is around the health of the community, it is around the vulnerable population, it’s around social networks and clubs and organizations and all of those things that make our community. It is about the interconnectedness of everything,” Krog said.

The initial meeting’s agenda includes reports on what sort of relief efforts have already come from different levels of government, discussion of various sectors of the economy, and planning for the task force’s next steps.

“The mandate of the task force is reasonably broad, but we hope to come up, eventually, with specific recommendations that will bring the community together both in an economically successful way but also in a way that will create new connections within various parts of the community that may not have connected before,” Krog said.

The task force is slated to report back to council early in the fall with findings and recommendations.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo’s business community anxious to find out more about re-opening B.C.

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19

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