On September 22nd, 2005 the provincial government introduced new legislation that created a $50- million North Island-Coast Development Initiative Trust. The objective of the Trust is to help diversify the economy of the North Island-Coast by leveraging new investment and partnerships for economic opportunities. The Trust is to provide funding to create new and sustainable economic growth and jobs through strategic investment in targeted sectors with the regional economy. Communities control the Trust and make the decisions regarding the most prudent approach to realize economic benefits. This unique initiative benefits communities north of the Malahat on Vancouver Island and on the Sunshine Coast.
October 19, 2005, the BC Government passed Bill 7, the North Island-Coast Development Initiative Trust Act. The overarching goal is to support regional decisions for economic development, complimenting the government's strategy to create prosperity for all people in every region of the province. The Trust will fund strategic partnership investments to further develop and diversify the economic base of the North Island-Coast region. Bill 7 was proclaimed on February 27, 2006.
As required under the Act, the directors of the Trust have established a Regional Account in which the one-time $50-million allocation from the Province was deposited.
The Act sets out that the purpose of the regional account is to support investment within the following "sectors" in the Trust area:
The North Island-Coast Development Initiative Trust (Island Coastal Economic Trust) is guided by 13 Directors, 8 of which are appointed by two Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) representing the Central South Island region and the North Island-Sunshine Coast region. The remaining 5 directors are appointed by the provincial government.
The RACs are comprised of the mayors within the regions, the chairs of each regional district and the members of the Legislative Assembly from the region. MLAs cannot be a member of the Trust Board.
The Chairs of the RACs are Gerry Giles, Chair, Cowichan Valley Regional District for the Central South Island Regional Advisory Committee and Mayor Teunis Westbroek of Qualicum Beach, for the North Island-Sunshine Coast RAC. The RACs are established to provide advice to the Trust on projects. Each RAC may identify projects that the RACs consider are appropriate for application of the money in the Regional account.
On August 27th, 2012, the provincial government re-appointed the following four directors to the Board for a term of three years ending August 27th, 2015.
- Camela Tang - Board Vice Chair
- Dave Mannix
- Arlette Raaen
- Dallas Smith
On October 25th, 2012, the provincial government appointed the following director to the Board for a term of three years ending August 27th, 2015.
- Kevin Tevington
The following directors were appointed by the regional advisory committees for a two year term ending July 14, 2014:
- Mayor Phil Kent, Duncan - Board Chair
- Mayor Gerry Furney, Port McNeill - Board Treasurer
- Mayor Bev Parnham, Port Hardy
- Mayor John Henderson, Sechelt
- Mayor Rob Hutchins, Ladysmith
- Mayor Edward Lewis, Zeballos
- Mayor John Ruttan, Nanaimo
- Joe Stanhope, Nanaimo Regional District
On December 1, 2012, the Board appointed Line Robert, as the Trust's Chief Executive Officer.
The legislation provides for governance and public reporting requirements to ensure Trust accountability to residents of the North Island-Coast region. The Directors are guided by the governance guidelines set out in the Governance and Disclosure Guidelines for Governing Boards of British Columbia Public Sector Organizations and the Review of Governance Framework for Canada's Crown Corporations.
Prior to the Trust commencing its first operating year, it was required to establish a three year strategic plan with goals relating to the fulfillment of the purposes identified in the Act. The Strategic Plan is updated annually.
The Round Table Strategic Planning Conference
On November 17 and 18, 2006 a Round Table Strategic Planning Conference was held at Mount Washington. This meeting was held to provide all participants with a full opportunity to provide advice in developing the strategic plan for the Trust. It was attended by the representatives of the Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) which included Mayors, Chairs of Regional Districts, the Board of Directors from the Island Coastal Economic Trust, several MLAs, representatives from key economic sectors, regional development officers, Malaspina University College and the Minister of Economic Development. Approximately 75 persons attended the Conference.
The Honourable Colin Hansen, the Minister of Economic Development attended the conference and noted that "the Trust was designed to empower communities by the creation of an arms-length entity with full discretion and accountability to develop and fund regional strategies that capitalize on new opportunities". Participants acknowledged the leadership of the Premier and the Minister for Economic Development for having the foresight to provide our communities with new tools to overcome many of the constraints limiting regional economic growth.
The conference provided for informed discussion using a facilitated work book with detailed expert sector presentations to brief Trust representatives regarding regional opportunities, constraints and economic conditions. As the groups worked through each of the key issues, their comments, consensus points were documented and collected for a more comprehensive review after the conference ended. Key target sectors identified in the Trust Act as candidates for investment were provided with an opportunity to provide an overview of current conditions and opportunities for each of their sectors. Due to scheduling conflicts presentations from both the tourism and transportation sectors were provided to the Trust Board of Directors at a subsequent meeting. The sector representatives also acted as resource persons in the Round Table discussions. The round table discussions were also supported by economic development representatives from the Island and the Sunshine Coast. All sector presentations can be viewed and are found on the Home Page.
This strategic planning session proved invaluable to the Board in highlighting key issues and policies that needed to be developed before the Trust implementation commenced. Participants were eager to engage in the Round Table discussions.