Economic Development Strategy

We're working to support the success of our businesses and build a diverse and resilient local economy, as envisioned in our Official Community Plan (OCP).

Our Economic Development Strategy — co-created with business and economic development stakeholders — will identify, prioritize, and resource relevant 2021 OCP Action Plan initiatives, and help focus our business services and economic development resources.

News and updates

January 22, 2024 — Interim Deliverable: Economic analysis and business engagement results

The interim Economic Development Strategy report presents:

  • Key findings from a comprehensive economic and employment lands analysis for the District
  • Results from the online business survey completed in the fall of 2023
  • Input received from the business workshops held in November, 2023

The key findings and recommendations from the research and business engagement phase will be used to inform and produce the final deliverable – the Economic Development Strategy itself – anticipated for spring 2024.

Download the Report to Council

November 9 and 14, 2023 — Business workshops

Are you a District business? Join us in an upcoming in-person workshop and collaborate with other local businesses to: 

  • identify the common trends, challenges and opportunities facing business and the District economy
  • formalize priority areas for local economic development
  • work together on specific ideas, initiatives, and solutions

As a District business, your perspective and insights are an invaluable asset to developing the Strategy, and will help shape how we serve the local business community and support a diverse and resilient local economy. 

Get workshop details

September 11 to October 8, 2023 — Online business survey

Do you own or operate a local business, or live or work in the District? We want to hear about your experiences and thoughts on the District economy. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts. We’ll use your feedback to help create a strategy that will support local businesses and jobs now and in the future.

Thank you for your participation. The survey has now closed. 


Developing a formal strategy to support our economic goals

Our Economic Development Strategy will contain a set of goals, strategies, programs, and projects for us to implement to achieve our 2030 economic development objectives. It will determine a service delivery model and provide resourcing recommendations for meaningful implementation. 

How we'll develop the strategy

The strategy will be developed in two major phases: 

  1. Produce an employment lands, industry, and asset analysis report with recommendations. 
  2. Develop a strategy document with our economic development vision and goals, key strategies to achieve those goals, supporting programs and projects to implement the strategy, and a service delivery and resourcing model.

We'll engage staff and Council at key stages of the project. We anticipate the final strategy will be completed in Spring 2024.

Our guiding principles

The strategy's development and deliverables are guided by three core principles:

  • Inclusive and meaningful engagement — A comprehensive business engagement plan will accompany the strategy's preparation
  • Asset-based, opportunity-founded, and data-driven approach — A thorough employment lands, industry trends, and community assets review will inform the strategy's development
  • Visionary yet flexible, with actionable outcomes — The strategy presents an opportunity for us to express our vision as a community to do business and invest in, as well as prioritize specific programs and projects towards achieving key goals

Connecting with District businesses and economic development partners

With the support of a consultant, we will talk to businesses and economic development partners to understand the current state, and develop a future state for the District economy.

Our approach will offer multiple opportunities for public input during Fall 2023, including:

  • Online business survey from September 11 to October 8, 2023
  • Business roundtables in November, 2023 — Facilitated conversations with District businesses and economic development ecosystem partners
  • Business task force — Formed to provide feedback and guidance on key strategy deliverables for the duration of the project

A cross-departmental staff working group will also support the strategy's development.


Supporting our OCP Action Plan

Both the 2011 OCP, and the 2021 OCP Action Plan set the main plan for us to collaborate with businesses and economic development partners. They aim to address issues like transportation, housing, and climate change while also investing in opportunities to create a strong and secure local economy.

The pandemic, inflation, and global economic challenges have made these issues more challenging, but they have also opened up new possibilities. This calls for a focused and strategic approach to local economic development.

Learn more about our OCP Action Plan

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