Prov­ince wind­ing down de­vel­op­ment cor­po­ra­tion

Gov­ern­ment look­ing to re­place the or­ga­ni­za­tion with a Re­gional Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY COLIN MA­CLEAN Colin.Ma­cLean@Jour­nalPioneer.com Twitter.com/Jour­nalPMacLean

“No de­ci­sions have yet been made re­gard­ing staff or the as­sets. Staff will be required over the coming months to carry out the man­age­ment of SRDC held prop­er­ties.” Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Heath MacDon­ald

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is start­ing the process of dis­man­tling the Sum­mer­side Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (SRDC).

The prov­ince announced 10 months ago that it in­tended to buy out the other SRDC share­hold­ers and re­place the or­ga­ni­za­tion with a Re­gional Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil. How­ever, it had since taken no overt ac­tion to do so.

That changed Mon­day dur­ing SRDC’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing.

The prov­ince moved to re­duce the num­ber of board mem­bers from nine to five, con­sist­ing of three civil ser­vants, Sum­mer­side CAO Bob Ash­ley and Dan Kutcher, pres­i­dent of the Greater Sum­mer­side Cham­ber of Com­merce. The prov­ince is the ma­jor­ity share­holder of the or­ga­ni­za­tion while the city and cham­ber are mi­nor stake­hold­ers.

Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Heath MacDon­ald has con­firmed that the new board will man­age the SRDC’s as­sets and staff while the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s oper­a­tions wind down. It will also try to fig­ure out what to do with the SRDC prop­erty in the city, in­clud­ing the Hol­man Build­ing, the Har­bour Quay build­ing and the en­gine test cell it built in Sle­mon Park and leases to Vec­tor Aero­space.

“No de­ci­sions have yet been made re­gard­ing staff or the as­sets. Staff will be required over the coming months to carry out the man­age­ment of SRDC held prop­er­ties,” said MacDon­ald.

Kutcher at­tended the AGM and said he left with a lot of unan­swered ques­tions.

“There’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween an ad­vi­sory coun­cil and an or­ga­ni­za­tion which can ac­tively de­velop un­der­uti­lized prop­er­ties,” said Kutcher.

“We’ll just have to wait and see where it goes.”

The prov­ince had pre­vi­ously announced the cre­ation of four Re­gional Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sory Coun­cils, one of which will be re­spon­si­ble for East Prince/West Queens.

The coun­cils, whose mem­bers will be ap­pointed by the prov­ince, will ful­fill some of the same roles left va­cant by the SRDC, but not all.

For ex­am­ple, a big part of the SRDC’s man­date was to stim­u­late eco­nomic growth by de­vel­op­ing prop­erty.

A gov­ern­ment de­scrip­tion posted on­line about the ad­vi­sory coun­cils does not in­clude the same func­tion.

The prov­ince plans to an­nounce its ap­pointees to the coun­cils later this week.

“(The coun­cils) will re­port to the prov­ince and will help guide and de­velop eco­nomic growth strate­gies for the re­gion,” said MacDon­ald.

“We be­lieve this is an im­por­tant step for eco­nomic and pop­u­la­tion growth in the re­gion and we are look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the new coun­cil. It’s an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to have mem­bers of the com­mu­nity pro­vide di­rect in­put into de­ci­sions that af­fect the re­gional econ­omy.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.