Usually Nanaimo hosts the State of the Island Economic Summit – this year Zoom is hosting it.
The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance is holding its annual event this week, with speakers and panellists using online platforms for presentations and forums.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a video message to summit attendees Tuesday morning, saying that VIEA’s advocacy has helped build communities and businesses on the Island. He said the work is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and he also talked about some of the ways the federal government has tried to support businesses through wage and commercial rent subsidies and emergency loans.
“As we work towards rebuilding from the pandemic, our government will continue to help Canadians and businesses through this crisis for as long as is necessary,” Trudeau said. “Through the determination and dedication of Canadians like all of you, folks who know that we can create a healthier, greener, fairer and more competitive Canada. We will get through this challenging time.”
Peter Van Dongen, chairman of the summit committee, said the summit, even in an online format, can be a tool for bringing people together. He said the summit’s goals are to provide timely, relevant insights about the region in a global context, spark critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration, and provide a forum to build relationships and partnerships and drive conversations about making the Island better.
Dan Hurley, chairman of VIEA, said the summit brings decision-makers together.
“We aim to make the Vancouver Island region a more vital and sustainable place to live, to learn and to do business,” he said. “This has never been more important than right now.”
The summit takes place Oct. 27-29. For more information, visit http://viea.ca.