Houle holds off on asking for RDN pullout of NEDC

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, May 5 2015

Director Howard Houle says he has held off on a motion which would start removing Electoral Area B from the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDC).

At least until a further dialogue has happened between Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) staff and the staff and chair of the NEDC.

That dialogue will involve the directors of the three southern Electoral Areas (A, B, and C).

Area A pays just over $59,000 toward the NEDC funding agreement; Area B pays $57,000; and Area C pays just over $30,000.

Houle represents Area B, which is made up of Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy Islands. He said the directors would be meeting with the NEDC staff and NEDC Board Chair Andre Sullivan.

“We’re working on a having a dialogue. It’s all about process and seeing what the NEDC can do for the Electoral Areas that matches up what those areas contribute to the NEDC.”

In late March, Houle had proposed asking RDN staff what the implications would be if the southern Electoral Areas were to pull out of the NEDC. He said at the time part of the reason he wanted to pull out of the NEDC was because he felt there was little communication between the NEDC and southern RDN contributors. Houle said these meetings notwithstanding, the idea of the Electoral Areas pulling out is still something the directors have on the table.

At the NEDC Annual General Meeting held in early April, the Board reported the NEDC had run a $162,000 deficit in 2014 and had used reserves to make up the shortfall. Total annual revenue for the NEDC in 2014 was $1.7 million, with just over $1.3 million coming from government transfers through the City of Nanaimo and the remainder from the southern Electoral Areas.