Monday, May 28, 2012

The Demise of Regional Governance?

There are twenty Regional Economic Development Boards in Newfoundland and Labrador.  These were established in the mid 90's and were mandated to: 
  1. Develop and coordinate the implementation of a strategic economic plan in each zone supported by an integrated business plan. Now it seems as if the potential for regional governance is slipping away.
  2. Develop a strong partnership with municipalities in each zone that incorporates the strategies and priorities of municipalities in the economic planning process
  3. Develop partnerships in planning and implementation with Chambers of Commerce, Industry Associations, labour organizations, post-secondary institutions, Canadian Business Development Corporations (CBDCs), and other zones that advance and support the economic and entrepreneurial environment of a zone
  4. Undertake capacity building and provide support to stakeholders to strengthen the economic environment of the zone
  5. Coordinate and facilitate linkages with federal /provincial /municipal government departments and agencies in support of the strategic economic plan
I looked at these boards as the conduit through which regional governmance would appear in Nl. 
Last week the Federal Government will cease their 75% funding of the province's Economic Development Boards in Newfoundland & Labrador as of May, 2013 - effectively putting them and their staff on notice of their demise. 
In our region, the Discovery Regional Development Board (DRDB) represents over 100 communities from Chapel Arm to Port Blandford to Swift Current and to Bonavista - the vast majority of which have no local government.  
The writing is on the wall for much of Rural Nl...Only now it’s being written in permanent marker.

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