Mark Friesen and Marissa Lawrence talk strengths and opportunities on the B.C. economy to a group at the Northwest Community College campus in Kitimat

Kitimat part of 100 Conversations tour

SFU Public Square is hosting 100 conversations, and Kitimat was included on the tour.

Simon Fraser University, under the banner of SFU Public Square, included Kitimat on their 100 Community Conversations tour, talking about what the economy will look like up to 2030.

The event, held on August 19, was designed as a dialogue to gather opinions on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the economy in B.C., with each community weighing in on their own perspectives.

“We aim to be the go-to convener of conversations of issues of public concern,” said Marissa Lawrence, the provincial outreach coordinator of SFU Public Square.

Public Square does a similar project each year, which culminates in a community summit, which will be held in the Lower Mainland in early October.

In B.C., there were eight communities on the tour, Kitimat’s being the only stop west after Prince George.

“What we’re trying to do is gather citizen voice from across the province,” said Lawrence.

She said through earlier conversations with the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce, the issues of growth and what to expect from future projects was an area of great interest locally.

Approximately a dozen people came out for the talk, with people representing several sides to the economic question.

“I think it’s a great time to have that conversation in the region,” said Lawrence on the issue of growth. “I feel there was a really diverse group of voices at the table.”

According to information from the 100 Conversations discussion guide, SFU sees wealth creation, social equity and environmental protection as the “key ingredients” for a vibrant future economy.

Once all of the results of the 100 Conversations collected, they will be presented in a future document called Citizens Agenda for BC’s Economic Future.

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