The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s first State of the Island Economic Report provides an easily accessible snap shot of the Island’s economy.

Transportation is key to Island’s viability

Former MLA Ron Cantelon is the chair of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, which delivered a report on state of Island economy

The first ever State of the Island Economic Report paints a pretty healthy picture of areas like tourism, but points to some areas that need attention.

“The importance of transportation in terms of cost, time efficiency and reliability is noted as particularly important to the economic vitality and viability of Vancouver Island purely because we are accessible only by water and air and not by road,” said Ron Cantelon, Chair of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) in the forward.

The report also points to the growing importance of First Nations’ business and economic development, “as several First Nations approach completion of treaty settlements,” he said.

VIEA President and CEO George Hanson said that due to the low Canadian dollar, “In the immediate term we can expect tourism to continue to be strong on the Island, through 2016.”

He said this provides “an opportunity for communities, tourism organizations and tourism businesses to take advantage of that immediate opportunity by upping their game and marketing it to Canadian, and U.S. markets in particular.”

The concise pamphlet style

52-page report (available at www.viea.ca) provides a detailed economic snap shot of the Island in 2015, with historical context and brings up problem areas, but doesn’t offer solutions.

It highlights the key challenges as being the aging population creating a shortage of qualified labour, the high cost of transportation and the small scale of the Island economy limiting growth of individual businesses.

It does break the economics down in a fair bit of detail, with charts and graphs of things like employment per industry (health care and social assistance is highest at 54,000), the impact of the fishery (about 60 per cent of the province’s $410 million) and the continued dominance of forestry, though declining.

It also highlights the growing importance of international students, with 8,133 on the Island in 2013, of which 1,824 were in the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Qualicum Beach Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer attended the VIEA Economic Summit in Nanaimo last month and reported back to council that is was an excellent event with a lot of useful information about things like why entrepreneurs move to this area, the benefits to the community of special events and how municipalities everywhere are moving from having economic development officers to “business introduction services.”

Visit www.viea.ca for more information.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An illustration was given to the Parksville’s Church of the Ascension by a person, in appreciation for allowing use of its shower facility. (Mike Favero/Submitted photo)
Parksville church makes showers available to the homeless

Pastor receives special illustration from one appreciative person

There are now plans to reduce scaled of a proposed Ballenas running track upgrade. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville Qualicum Beach running track project plans reduced in scale

Track group to switch to community grassroots level due to lack of support from regional district

Tigh-Na-Mara general manager Paul Drummond, left, and SOS executive director Susanna Newton right are prepared for a reinvented Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive in 2020. COVID-19 will not spoil the community’s annual day of giving and help for local families through the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program. (Peter McCully photo)
Reinventing Parksville Qualicum Beach’s popular Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive

COVID-19 restrictions won’t spoil community’s annual morning of giving

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Facebook photo)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

Most Read