Province Releases Report - New Economic Development Model

The decision of the federal government not to continue funding the core functions of the Regional Development Authorities (RDAs) in May, 2013 means the status quo cannot continue and we need to develop a new approach to encouraging economic development in our communities.   The Province appointed an independent panel to consult with stakeholders, and to recommend a new model based on a provincial/municipal partnership.

UNSM is working closely with Economic and Rural Development (ERDT), Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (SNSMR) and the Association of Municipal Administrators (AMA)  to facilitate discussion amongst municipalities and the province around the recommendations of the independent review panel.  The panel has recommended the establishment of six Regional Enterprise Networks (RENS) to focus on business development.  UNSM and the province will host meetings in January with the municipalities in each of the proposed RENS to discuss how the RENS might support communities in growing their economies, to identify issues, opportunities and alternatives.  Municipalities are asked not to reject the proposal to set up RENs at this time, but to participate in the January meetings and to put forward their issues, concerns, suggestions.  You are encouraged to forward these to UNSM in advance of the January meeting, so that we can make sure they are raised at the meeting.

In the meantime, a working committee is being established to focus on the implications of winding down the RDAs.  The committee will include municipal representation from municipalities, ERDT and SNSMR.  All questions can be funnelled to this committee, the committee will work on the answers and share them with the municipalities and RDAs as they are resolved.  Consultations will also be held with the Nova Scotia Association of RDAs (NSARDA). 

UNSM will be posting information on this initiative on its website as new information is received.  Currently you can find a copy of the independent panel's report, and correspondence from the Province and UNSM to municipalities.

The report is available at http://gov.ns.ca/econ/publications.