If there was ever any doubt that the communities and sectors of Vancouver Island want to work together toward a prosperous and sustainable future — economically, environmentally, and culturally — the 2012 State of the Island Economic Summit brought the message home.
The conference, from October 15 to 16 at Nanaimo Conference Centre, drew in more than 500 delegates from every part of the Island for a trade show and workshops on everything from “The Future of Island Transportation” to “Challenges and Opportunities for Local Government” and “Economic Gardening.”
Hosted by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA), the summit also focused on national and provincial economic issues affecting the Island. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, who gave the opening address, emphasized Canada’s relative stability and cautioned Islanders not to give in to the panic around the European and U.S. economic woes.
“We must take care not to allow uncertainty to dominate our actions, letting profitable opportunities slip away…,” Carney said.
In her keynote address, B.C. Premier Christy Clark touted B.C.’s jobs number (“Fifty-seven thousand net new jobs in British Columbia, most of them are full-time.”)
“We’re ahead of Alberta and we don’t even have oil,” said Clark.
Carney, Clark, and Bell all put focus on the growing importance of trade with China and preparing the economy to take advantage of emerging market opportunities.
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