Municipalities in western Nova Scotia are on track to forming one of the province's first regional enterprise networks.
The government and six municipalities named a nine-member board of directors to oversee the new Western Regional Enterprise Network in Clare, Wednesday, Feb. 12.
A partnership between the government and municipalities, the network will develop economic strategies, co-ordinate economic development efforts within the region, and focus on helping local businesses grow.
"With a committed board in place, western Nova Scotia is very close to having a regional enterprise network. I want to congratulate the municipalities for their leadership and for taking a collaborative approach to economic development in their region," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson.
"I'm pleased to see communities making progress in establishing regional enterprise networks across the province," said Samson. "With the expertise and knowledge of local business leaders, and by working together, communities will be able to make the most of the economic opportunities before them."
The nine board members are:
--Dr. Michel Comeau
The Western Regional Enterprise Network will include the towns of Yarmouth and Digby and the municipalities of Yarmouth, Argyle, Clare and Digby.
The final step is the network's incorporation, which will happen when the municipalities sign an inter-municipal agreement.
"From the onset, the partnering municipalities in this network agreed that regional collaboration was a fundamental principle in long-term economic development," said Alain Muise, chief administrative officer, Municipality of Argyle. "Today is a big day for us. We are extremely impressed with the interest and caliber of our all-business board."
A committee made up of municipal and provincial representatives appointed the board.
"Naming the province's first regional enterprise network board could not have been better timed than with the release of Ray Ivany's report yesterday. There is a sense of renewed optimism about our economic opportunities in southwest Nova Scotia," said Allister Surette, interim chair of the new board. "My colleagues and I see regional enterprise networks as a symbol of the spirit of cooperation that exists between municipalities and the province and is so critical for our success."
More information on the board members and a guide prepared by the province to support the set-up of these organizations are available at http://novascotia.ca/econ/ren/.