Outgoing Kings RDA chairman Hugh Simpson said his five years heading the agency’s board of directors was “rewarding” and “exhilarating” in his final report to the membership. Simpson turned over the jobto Kings County Warden Fred Whalen.
By Wendy Elliott
Former Kings RDA chairman Hugh Simpson has positive things to say about Renewing Regional Economic Development in Nova Scotia.
“I was really pleased to look at a new model to replace the RDAs,” he said of the report. “We have to share resources. Each municipality should not work independently and seek to build their own RDAs.”
The notion of six Regional Enterprise Networks (RENs) to connect economic development partners, the Wolfville town councillor said, sounds sustainable and won’t foster duplication.
“Yes, we need change,” Simpson said. “But let’s not forget the Kings RDA did some good things, like the Valley Community Fibre Network and Nomination Grand Pré. It was very successful with immigration and the wine industry benefit. Wolfville certainly used the RDA to its benefit.”
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In the future, he suggested, resources like policing and recreation should be shared.
“I really want to see a new model spring up and other municipalities join in. We do not want to lose capable staff come March. No one wants to see our children disappear out west, either.”
It’s up to government to ensure that doesn’t happen.
“Sometimes government moves at a glacial pace,” Simpson cautioned, “if we’re not careful we’ll scratch our heads and it will be 2014. We need to join forces.”