The news was announced Wednesday at the Perennia Innovation Centre in Bible Hill by Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism and members of an expert panel that was tasked with finding the best model for supporting economic development in the province.
“Nova Scotians are ready to turn the corner on 20 years of the worst economic growth in the province’s history,” Paris said, during the announcement.
“The world has changed,” he said. “Rural economies will be central to the future success of the province … “We, the province of Nova Scotia, we have to adapt and we have to do things differently.”
The Colchester Regional Development Agency (CoRDA), based in Truro, will be disbanded and replaced with an REN, although the precise makeup of the new bodies is yet to be determined.
The need to replace Nova Scotia’s existing RDAs, which are 18 years old, became necessary when the federal government announced last May that the (one-third) core funding it had been providing to the province for its RDAs would be cut next spring.
Currently, the federal and provincial governments and Nova Scotia’s combined 55 municipalities, each provide about
$2.1 million to fund the RDAs.
The panel has recommended creating the six RENs in an effort to bring together business communities, the province, municipalities and other groups involved in economic development in an effort to improve accountability, co-ordination and to better align those efforts with the province's jobsHere strategy.
The full report is available at http://gov.ns.ca/econ/publications/ .
Updated version, more to follow.