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BCEDA and EDA Implement Plan To Help Flood-Impacted Communities
Chilliwack, BC (November 14, 2013) British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) and Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) have designed a program to help Alberta and BC communities rebuild their economies after the devastating flood that hit earlier this year.
The "Economic Disaster Recovery Project" is a grassroots program designed to shorten economic recovery time.
Called the Economic Disaster Recovery Project (EDRP), it is a volunteer-led initiative that equips economic development professionals in flood-impacted communities with the tools and best practice information to re-establish their community's economic competitiveness.
"Economic development professionals lead a community's economic rebuilding efforts because they are highly specialized practitioners who can recognize economic opportunities and know how to retain the existing business wealth in a community," said Richard Pauls, EDA President. "One of the important elements of the Economic Disaster Recovery Project is convening the economic development professionals in flood impacted communities with external economic development experts who will then make recommendations to help restore these economies."
The EDRP will also provide flood-impacted communities with a variety of steps they can take to help shorten their economic recovery time after this disaster while at the same time build local capacity should the need for this type of response be required again in the future.
The EDRP is lead by BCEDA and EDA, with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as its third organizational partner.
Between November 13 and December 6, 2013 volunteer economic development professionals will be visiting: Crowsnest Pass; Waterton Lakes; Town of High River; Vulcan County; Bragg Creek (Rocky View County); Town of Cochrane; Town of Canmore; Town of Sundre; Town of Black Diamond; and Turner Valley.
"We look forward to working with EDA and our other partners on this initiative and we have shown once again that BC cares about our neighbors. The response from BC Volunteers for this initiative has been overwhelming and we have been unable to utilize all of those that came forward. We look forward to working with BC communities as part of this program once the first list of Alberta communities have been completed," said Dale Wheeldon, BCEDA President and CEO. "With the Province of Alberta being the primary sponsor, we had to put the Alberta communities first."
"On behalf of the Town of High River, I am looking forward to EDA, and BCEDA's Economic Disaster Recovery Project team's involvement in the rebuilding and renewing of the town's economy," said Sharon McCormick Manager of Planning, Renewal Office, Town of High River. "The 2013 flood has both shaken our community and provided us with an opportunity to rebuild and redefine what we can be for the future. I am looking forward to the concrete steps that this project will be taking to help us in the development of a practical, resilient plan to restore and strengthen our economy in the short and long term. Our ultimate goal is to ensure High River is a vibrant, thriving community to work, invest, live and play in."
The elements of the EDRP include:
Community visits by volunteer economic development experts
These experts make recommendations on how to restore economies
Webinars on best practices in economic recovery delivered by economic development professionals
Training for elected officials giving them a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in moving economic recovery plans forward in their respective region
A Toolkit developed by economic development professionals that will identify key resources, best practices information designed to shorten economic recovery time should a disaster happen in the future
The EDRP is funded by a blend of private sector, not-for-profit and government partners. They are: The Government of Alberta; RBC Royal Bank; Shell Canada Ltd. and the Consulate General of the United States of America, Calgary.
"I witnessed first-hand how Shell Canada staff came together to support our employees and our communities impacted by the flood," said David Todd, Vice President, Shell Canada, Unconventionals. "This investment is a continuation of that commitment to support those communities - we will not only share our expertise on disaster preparedness but also work to help effected communities re-build their economic resiliency."