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Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Encouraged by Federal Budget
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 27, 2009
Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Encouraged by Federal Budget
January 27, 2009 – Port Hardy, BC. – The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance representing economic development interests on Vancouver Island is encouraged by the 2009 federal budget released earlier today. 
“We are encouraged by the federal government’s support for infrastructure investment and their recognition of the pressures facing communities across Canada”, said Russ Hellberg, Chair Vancouver Island Economic Alliance. “One of VIEA’s main focuses has been getting the infrastructure we need on Vancouver Island to continue building a strong economy for the future.” 
The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance has identified the need for an integrated transportation strategy for Vancouver Island. “Today’s commitment to infrastructure investment is a beacon of hope as we continue to address the transportation gaps on Vancouver Island” said Vice-Chair Sasha Angus. “A transportation system that supports economic growth is a fundamental element of a prosperous Vancouver Island economy.” 
Federal announcements of support for the forestry sector are welcome news for an industry which has lost over 1,800 jobs in the last five years. “Vancouver Island’s forestry sector is the largest goods producing sector on the Island, employing 13,760 people in 2006. VIEA through its work with the Regional Economic Analysis and the Collaborative Workforce Strategy will work to leverage these announcements to advance its work at building a stronger Vancouver Island economy and creating household sustaining jobs for the future” said Hellberg. 
The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance is a successful model of regional collaboration, with a focus on branding Vancouver Island, transportation, attracting and retaining a sustainable workforce, renewable energy, agriculture, aquaculture and advanced technology. Member driven, with representation from the private and public sectors, VIEA works with community leaders to collectively affect positive economic growth throughout the Island. 
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