The Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET), one of British Columbia’s three publicly funded regional trusts, is expanding the number of communities it serves to benefit more people.
The expansion means organizations within the Capital Regional District (CRD) electoral areas of Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island and the southern Gulf Islands are eligible to apply for funding from ICET and be included in other services that ICET provides.
“Expanding the trust’s service area means more small communities will be eligible for funding that will help them grow and thrive, supporting projects such as building new infrastructure, enhancing small-business opportunities or supporting Indigenous economic development,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “As with StrongerBC, ICET is working hard to build an economic recovery for British Columbia that is innovative, sustainable and inclusive.”
ICET was created by the B.C. government in 2006. It is an independent regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic growth and job creation on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.
“As a former mayor of Tofino, I know first-hand how important ICET’s role is in building better, stronger regional communities,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “In addition to providing funding for local projects, ICET helps communities build capacity and leverage investment for long-term economic development.”
Until now, communities in the CRD were excluded from the ICET service area. The decision to include the Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island and southern Gulf Islands electoral areas was made because the B.C. government determined these communities have fewer services than their urban CRD neighbours, lack the ability to cover the costs of core services and amenities and face challenges in developing their economies.
“ICET has an exceptional 15-year track record for strengthening and diversifying local economies in the region, and I’m delighted that more people and communities will now enjoy the benefits,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “The Southern Gulf Islands have been asking for this change for more than 10 years, and I’d like to raise my hands in gratitude to Minister Kahlon for his efforts in making this expansion happen so early in his time as minister.”
Aaron Stone, board chair, Island Coastal Economic Trust –
“ICET’s work supports a broad range of communities with unique and diverse economic development and diversification needs. We welcome the new areas into our service region and look forward to forging new relations as we continue to build a stronger, more innovative and vibrant island coastal region.”
Mike Hicks, director, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area –
“Juan de Fuca residents are very grateful to the B.C. government for recognizing our rural nature and including us in ICET. We look forward to working with our neighbouring communities and enhancing our economic development and well-being.”
Gary Holman, director, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area –
“Expanding ICET’s service area to include Salt Spring Island is great news for the people and the small communities on our island. Our inclusion within ICET will help advance Salt Spring’s economic development and environmental goals.”
David Howe, director, Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area –
“The southern Gulf Islands are unlike almost any place on Earth, but we have economic development challenges just like anywhere else. Inclusion in ICET is the culmination of a personal 10-year project on my part and will bring opportunities for the many young families that make up our large volunteer economy, which includes firefighters and first responders.”
- Since its inception in 2006, ICET has invested more than $52 million in 225 projects, working in partnership with over 150 organizations involved in regional economic diversification.
- These investments have leveraged more than $245 million into the region, or $4.62 for every dollar of ICET funding, and created 2,550 construction-phase jobs and 2,700 long-term jobs.
- More than 35% of funding has gone to communities of fewer than 5,000 people.
- ICET is one of three regional economic trusts that were publicly funded by the Province. The others are the Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust.
To find out more about the Island Coastal Economic Trust, visit: https://www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/
For more information on Stronger BC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/