Words worth heeding

Business Council of BC CEO Greg D’Avignon made a favourable impression on yours truly.

Business Council of BC CEO Greg D’Avignon made a favourable impression on yours truly.

Not just for what he said, but also for the fact that after only two months on the job he was actually up in the frozen North acquainting himself with what was going on here and what the issues were.

It’s always nice to know someone cares.

But back to what he said.

Particularly his comments about the campaign to open up the Chinese market to our lumber and even more specifically his description of that campaign: “persistent and methodical”.

I had seen that approach at work during my years as the reporter covering the city hall beat for the Terrace Standard in the late 80s and early 90s.

The city of Terrace hired its first economic development officer and decided to focus on attracting the mining industry service companies to the community.

Frankly, it seemed like a heck of a stretch given there wasn’t a mine even remotely nearby and Smithers seemed to have that role already locked up.

But the EDO, teamed with one of the city councillors, set off on a relentless quest which indeed resulted in a couple of substantial companies setting up shop and, even more improbably, Terrace being named Mining Community of the Year.

“Persistent and methodical.”

Fast forward a few years and that EDO has moved on so there is a new one but also with new marching orders.

The focus has switched to retail and in particular Big Box stores.

I think we all know how that one played out.

“Persistent and methodical.”

In other words, securing economic development requires more than having an information package ready for anyone who comes knocking. You have to be the one knocking, better yet hammering on their doors.

The closest Kitimat appears to have come in recent years to following that path has been the Retire Kitimat campaign.

It will be some years before the success or otherwise of that campaign can be fully assessed.

But in the meantime no-one can accuse them of not being persistent and methodical.


Northern Sentinel