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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Economic Development - Nanaimo

Below are a couple of news items in a sense related to the prsentation given by the CEO of Nanaimo's new Economic Development Corporation at Mondays City Council Meeting . The CEO Susan Cudahy is not getting off to a great start as can be seen by the news items and the comments made on these items. Following the news items is a letter I wrote to the editor in response.

March 29
Philip Wolf: Cynicism has legitimate roots for Nanaimo residents

March 28
Economic development CEO wants to end negativity about the city
Editorial: Nanaimo could use return of civic pride

As one of those that frequently speak my mind I want to say I contend the vocal minority aka. naysers actually care a great deal for this city and recognize its potential to become great.

Should we sweep our opinions under the rug, gloss over the facts, or like the three monkeys; hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil? I think not. In recognizing potential one must also recognize flaws. Only then can we work to make things better.

Statements like Ms. Cudahay’s ‘the idea we have a lot of unemployed or that people can’t find jobs here is a bit of an urban legend,’ are a perfect example of what raises people ire. Perhaps Ms. Cudahy would like the newly created position of Communication Manager with the City.

Some not to pretty truths about Nanaimo; 18th worst of 92 health areas for Economic Hardship in BC; 15th – More than twice the provincial average - for those on Income Assistance and E.I.; 15% of the population of Nanaimo receiving some form of Income Assistance; 11th highest for youth 19 – 24 on income assistance; 40% of the workforce has only part time jobs; 7.8 percent of families live on less than $20,000 per year; 26% of wage earners earn less than $15,000.00 per year, $3000.00 below established poverty levels.

Sifting through spin there is much the new Economic Development Corporation is doing that makes sense and can have a positive impact however let’s not gloss over the reality. I am proud to be associated with those that are willing to speak out; I am proud to call Nanaimo home; I am proud to be working towards making the community a better place for ALL.


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