Economic Development(s)

Gord Fuller: March 30, 2012

I don’t know what others think but we, the taxpayer, have shelled out more than $1.4 million for the new Economic Development Corporation and with the latest stories coming out from the D/N I am not impressed.  Ms. Cudahy is being paid quite well for the job she is supposed to do and in some ways she fits right in with the reasons why many choose not get involved.  Its almost like she has spent years here instead of about 6 months.  As I mention in one of my comments on a story; how many strikes before she is out?

March 30 Work on tourism Nanaimo website goes to Toronto

March 29 Philip Wolf: Cynicism has legitimate roots for Nanaimo residents

March 28 Economic development CEO wants to end negativity about the city

Editorial: Nanaimo could use return of civic pride

The last two stories prompted me to send the following letter to the D/N on the 28th, though if I had known what was to come on the 28th & 29th I might have held off.  If you haven’t already checked out the comments on the D/N stories please do, some are quite amusing:)

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As one of those that frequently speak my mind I want to say I contend the vocal minority aka. naysayers actually care a great deal for this city and recognize its potential to become great.

Should we sweep our opinions under the rug, gloss over the facts, or like the three monkeys; hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil? I think not. In recognizing potential one must also recognize flaws. Only then can we work to make things better.

Statements like Ms. Cudahy’s ‘the idea we have a lot of unemployed or that people can’t find jobs here is a bit of an urban legend,’ are a perfect example of what raises people ire. Perhaps Ms. Cudahy would like the newly created position of Communication Manager with the City.

Some not to pretty truths about Nanaimo; 18th worst of 92 health areas for Economic Hardship in BC; 15th – More than twice the provincial average – for those on Income Assistance and E.I.; 15% of the population of Nanaimo receiving some form of Income Assistance; 11th highest for youth 19 – 24 on income assistance; 40% of the workforce has only part time jobs; 7.8 percent of families live on less than $20,000 per year; 26% of wage earners earn less than $15,000.00 per year, $3000.00 below established poverty levels.

Sifting through spin there is much the new Economic Development Corporation is doing that makes sense and can have a positive impact however let’s not gloss over the reality. I am proud to be associated with those that are willing to speak out; I am proud to call Nanaimo home; I am proud to be working towards making the community a better place for ALL.

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