The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, has announced details of the newly established Pacific Economic Development Agency (PacifiCan) including a Kelowna branch. The Kelowna PacifiCan office will help the Central Okanagan region, one of Canada’s fastest growing regions, to build on economic recovery momentum and play a key role in Canada’s economic recovery.
“As Canada’s most entrepreneurial region and a leader in economic recovery, Kelowna and the Central Okanagan is a natural fit for a branch office of PacifiCan” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “This new agency and branch will build on existing momentum in our economy and ultimately create more meaningful engagement between regional businesses and the Federal government.”
Since the announcement of a Regional Development Agency focusing on the needs of British Columbia in 2020, regional partners including the Regional Economic Recovery Task Force, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC), UBC Okanagan, Accelerate Okanagan and Chambers of Commerce have advocated for a Central Okanagan office branch location.
“We are thrilled by today’s announcement of a PacifiCan office in the Central Okanagan. The Regional Economic Recovery Task Force has encouraged the Federal government to recognize the Central Okanagan’s economic strength by establishing a branch of the new agency in the region” said Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Chair Gail Given. “We’re gratified that Minister Joly has supported our request as demonstrated by today’s announcement.”
The Task Force, co-chaired by RDCO Chair Given and Kelowna Mayor Basran, was initiated by the Mayors of Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland, as well as the RDCO Chair and Chief of Westbank First Nation. They recognized early in the pandemic that a regional approach was required to identify economic recovery needs, support businesses and advocate to higher levels of government for stimulus funding. The Task Force handed ongoing economic recovery work back to the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) in June, 2021.
To learn more about economic development in the Central Okanagan, local economic indicators and the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission visit, investkelowna.ca.