Municipal and regional partners in the Annapolis Valley have formed the province’s first regional enterprise network.
Nine municipalities and the Glooscap First Nation signed an inter-municipal agreement marking the formal establishment of the network today, March 20, in Windsor.
A seven-member board of directors to oversee the new Valley Regional Enterprise Network has also been named.
“This is a positive step forward for economic development in this region. This partnership of municipal and regional partners and the province will support the growth of businesses and the economy in the region,” said Michel Samson, minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “I want to congratulate the municipalities and the Glooscap First Nation for their leadership and commitment to working together to build a strong economy for the future.”
The network will develop a regional economic development strategy, co-ordinate economic development efforts within the region, and focus on helping businesses in the region grow.
Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley said this is a very exciting moment for the valley.
“The mayors, wardens and chief of the Glooscap First Nation have shown great leadership in creating an organization that will bring economic benefits to all those living in this region,” said Mr. Beazley. “It is time to work together and celebrate the assets and successes of the communities we share borders with.”
The Valley Regional Enterprise Network includes:
— the Glooscap First Nation
— the towns of Berwick, Bridgetown, Hantsport, Kentville, Middleton, Windsor and Wolfville
— the municipalities of Kings County and West Hants
“Glooscap First Nation is proud to be the first Mi’kmaw community in Nova Scotia to be a signatory under the Regional Enterprise Network process,” said Chief Sidney Peters of the Glooscap First Nation. “As a small First Nation community, we can no longer work within a silo, we must partner with surrounding municipalities, Nova Scotia and Canada.
“Being an active participant in this will open and create opportunities for our community. We are excited and look forward to the future as being a full partner within our region.”
The seven board members bring a broad range and depth of experience, along with backgrounds in business and economic development to their new roles. They are:
— Sir Graham Day
— Susan Hayes
— Joseph Lord
— Robert Maher
— Peter Muttart
— Jason Peters
— Perry Wallace
“The Regional Enterprise Network represents a new concept, with a different geography, a focus on enterprises, and a commitment to networking,” said Robert Maher, board member. “To support this concept, the board must make creative, strategic decisions based on the best available and open information, for the good of all citizens in the region and across the province. We must adopt a new vision of regional collaboration. We must be open to new ideas.”
A committee made up of municipal and provincial representatives appointed the board of directors of the valley network.