McCaffrey joins economic development committee
Localized, integrated approach recommended
PARRSBORO - It seems that Parrsboro’s econom- ic development committee has a new ally in Roland McCaffrey.
McCaffrey, who lives in nearby Spencer’s Island and has a wealth of experience including years working with the provincial department of economic and rural development and tourism, met with council in its committee-ofthe-whole meeting on Nov. 24.
The days of manufacturers creating $50 million plants and 200 jobs in rural communities have come and gone, according to McCaffrey.
“The only way, from my perspective, we’re going to do economic development is localized economic development,” he said. “That means we have to integrate community development, social development and economic development all together in a ‘whole-istic’ undertaking.”
He explained this approach by referring to the Parrsboro Creative initiative to get more artists to move to town, and expanding on local industries like maple syrup and blueberries. More families moving here would create a need for more teachers at the school, etc.
The first thing McCaffrey suggested was to work on “asset mapping,” so people and businesses considering moving here could easily see what is already here.
“Parrsboro is an undiscovered part of the province, and I think we have some things to offer, but, to be frank, I’m not sure what,” he said. “I could try to locate a business here if I know what’s here, and I don’t have that in hand at the present time.”
McCaffrey met with council for about 40 minutes, and agreed to join the economic development committee, chaired by Coun. David Harrison.
“What we’re looking to do is have an economic development committee that will be useful, whether that’s bringing everybody in and maybe just exchanging information about what’s going on around town and different ways people could help, or possibly looking at new things,” said Harrison. “We’re kind of stuck as far as bringing everybody together, we sometimes run out of content to talk about.”