The Connected North: Findings from the Northern BC Economic Vision and Strategy Project
AbstractOver the past 200 years the social, economic, cultural, and political landscape of northern British Columbia (BC) has undergone considerable transformation. The pace of change has accelerated over recent decades and communities, industries, businesses, and decision-makers recognise that this creates both new challenges and new opportunities. The Northern BC Economic Development Vision & Strategy Project collected input from northerners about suggestions for renewing the rural and small town community and economic foundations of the region. The Project confirmed widespread interest in creating a regional community and economic development framework and outlined key ideas and principles which northerners identified as important for the future. This paper provides an overview of the process and a summary of the key findings. As such, it provides insight into how the people of northern BC view themselves, the northern lifestyle, and what it means to live in the north of the province. Second, it provides a synthesis of a vision and strategy for northern BC’s rural and small town economic development, drawn from northerners themselves.