Major plan to reboot Greater Victoria’s economy focuses on 10 critical areas

Reboot plan by South Island Prosperity Partnership’s Rising Economy Taskforce, lays out actions to bring the economy back from the devastating pandemic impact.

Victoria's Johnson Street Bridge
Victoria's Johnson Street Bridge. Photo by Sebastian Huxley, Unsplash.

South Island Prosperity Partnership has released Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Regional Economic Recovery Plan. The plan was developed by the multi-sector Rising Economy Taskforce over the past seven months in response to a COVID-induced recession.

Launched in April 2020, the Taskforce includes 40 business, community, government and academic leaders who worked with 12 sector committees to develop targeted actions for immediate relief and strategize recovery and move the region toward economic resiliency.

The Taskforce worked with MNP to analyze all recommendations against a weighted scoring criteria (over 2,000 points of data) to produce Reboot.

The plan is built around ten recovery pillars containing 50 action items organized into immediate (0-6 months), intermediate (6-12 months), recovery (12-18 months) and long-term (over 24 months) actions to be taken by all levels of government, First Nations, post-secondary institutions, industry associations and businesses.

“The Reboot plan is a blueprint for our future,” says Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO, South Island Prosperity Partnership. “It drew unparalleled collaboration in Canada’s largest non-government cross-sector economic recovery effort.”

The following are highlights of actions and recommendations in the report:

  • Close the equity gap with First Nations by developing an Indigenous Economic Development Office for the South Island, owned and operated by First Nations.
  • Strengthen local businesses by offering digital skills education and programs to leverage e-commerce and mitigate COVID-19 impacts. This involves a number of shop-local and food and beverage initiatives.
  • Embrace the 21st-century innovation economy through programs to accelerate business investment in research and development, including building a targeted Ocean Innovation Hub to pursue emerging opportunities in the global Blue Economy.
  • Help the workforce adapt to the new economy through the development of a Future Skills Alliance with industry, government and education stakeholders. This ensures rapid responses to unemployment.
  • Ensure our creative industries come back stronger through investments in venues, supporting artist-in-residence programs and ensuring our commercial districts are activated with placemaking and people-centred enhancements.

“Our community has faced the serious impact of COVID-19 and is now focused on recovery and resilience,” says Frank Bourree, Chair, SIPP, and Vice-Chair, Rising Economy Taskforce. “It has been very inspiring to work collaboratively with the over 120 business and government leaders of the Rising Economy Taskforce to create a blueprint for our very vibrant city and region, which we know is ready to spring back.”

Taskforce committee member Suzanne Bradbury, managing director of Fort Street Properties, says “the Reboot report represents an unprecedented and extraordinary collaboration of citizens from all sectors of our economy to solve the problems of a shared crisis.”

To learn more about the Report and the Taskforce, click HERE.

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