May 24, 2017
UPDATE MAY 25, 2017: Town of Gibbons voted to become a shareholder at its evening meeting May 24. The Shareholder group will be 15.

(EDMONTON May 24, 2017) Fourteen regional municipalities have voted to create a new organization to promote the Edmonton Metropolitan Region to the world.

Each member of the Capital Region Board had the opportunity to decide to become a shareholder in the new entity. The City of Leduc was first to indicate its participation May 11, joined quickly by Strathcona County, Parkland County and Bon Accord.

Ten other members have voted to become shareholders in the new entity since, most at council meetings this week: Beaumont, Devon, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc County, Morinville, Spruce Grove, St. Albert, Stony Plain, and Sturgeon County. Gibbons will vote tonight.

The deadline to join is today.

See CRB Regional Economic Development Initiative Backgrounder attached below.

“We have been talking about this for decades and due to the strength and vision of the local leadership it is now happening,” said Mary Cameron, Chair of the Interim Board that has been working since January to set the conditions for regional economic development.

“Working together we can have greater impact on the international stage, creating more interest and opportunities for all.”

Shareholders will hold an organizational meeting June 8, 2017.

The entity will have a first year budget of $1 million.
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 BACKGROUNDER                                              
CRB Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic Development Initiative

Activity in 2017
On December 21, 2016 the first meeting of an Interim Board for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic Development Initiative was held at CRB offices.

Interim Board members: Mary Cameron, Chair; Karen Adams, President and CEO Alberta Pensions; Sheldon Hudson, Vice-President, Al-Terra Engineering; Elan MacDonald, President, IMPACT Consulting; Reg Milley,  Past President & CEO, EIA; Stephen Petasky, Founder and Managing partner, LUXUS Group, and Tracey Scarlett, Dean, JR Shaw School of Business, NAIT.
Ten meetings were held bi-weekly from December 21, 2016.

Starting points:
• VISION: The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is a business location of choice for global investment, collaboratively built on regional assets
• MISSION: Together, we strengthen the Edmonton Metropolitan Region’s global competitiveness, growth and innovation.
• VALUES: Innovation, collaboration, sustainability, excellence, respect.
• PRINCIPLES: Inclusive; Respect for local autonomy; One share, one vote; Speak with one voice
Agreed OUTCOMES and its VALUE PROPOSITION of the prosed entity were established.

Drafted and proposed Entity parameters:
• ARTICLES: One share, one vote; Initial three year commitment; Three year rolling budget adjusted annually; Shareholders agree in principle to pursue a model of shared cost for share benefit; early adopters to finalize details of articles and operation upon incorporation
 
• FUNDING FORMULA: Based on assessment and population; Assumes balance may be made up by other levels of government and partners

• BUDGET PROJECTIONS: Year One: $1 million budget, $500,000 membership contribution; Year Two: $3 million budget, $1 million membership contribution; Year Three: $5 million budget, $2 million membership contribution

• TIMELINE
  • April 24, 26 & 27 – Information Sessions on MOA and Articles
  • May 2 – Deadline for Comments
  • May 10 – Revised MOA and Articles distributed
  • May 10 – 24 Municipal Council votes
  • May 24 – Deadline for early adopters to sign on
Interim Board Activity
  • Presentations: to Regional CAOs (January 27), to Capital Region Board (February 9 and April 13), to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (March 3), Greater Edmonton Economic Developers (March 10). All feedback reviewed by the Interim Board.
  • Hosted two public information sessions with legal resources on April 24, 2017, and two information webinars with the same format on April 26 and 27, 2017.
  • Interim Board Chair sent letter explaining the process to all regional elected officials on April 28, 2017.
At the Capital Region Board:
At the April 13, 2017 Board meeting, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Hon. Deron Bilous announced a $300K grant for the Board’s current regional economic development initiative to “provide background research to assist with transition from the current incubation phase to the start-up of an independent regional EcDev entity”.
 
History to 2017
The Capital Region Board (CRB), through its Strategic Plan, recognizes the benefits of regional action to positively impact our global opportunity and identified economic competitiveness as a principle in the Growth Plan Update.

On October 3, 2014, CRB hosted an inaugural regional economic development summit, attended by 130 regional stakeholders. The summary of information collected at the Economic Development Summit led to the creation of a Summit Report, which detailed options for moving forward.

On November 13, 2014, the Capital Region Board received two significant reports: “Choose to Lead” – a summative report of the research and analysis completed by economist Jeremy Heigh, identifying economic development gaps and issues; and “The Summit Report” along with four options on how to proceed. The Board selected Option 3 directing CRB administration facilitate collaboration in moving the regional economic development initiative forward.

On December 3, 2014, existing regional organizations met to discuss various approaches to organizing the non-political entity and managing the work. This “stakeholder-based non-political entity” became the Economic Development Steering Committee, chaired by CRB, comprising representation from: Alberta Industrial Heartland Association, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, the Edmonton International Airport,  the Greater Edmonton Economic Development Team, the Greater Edmonton Regional Chambers of Commerce, and the Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association.

January to May 2015: The Steering Committee developed a regional economic development project Charter and Frame, with the assistance of of two additional groups; the Regional Economic Development TEAM, and the TEAM Working Group, consisting of a subset of the 28 TEAM members.

On May 28, 2015, the Governance, Priorities & Finance Committee (GPF) recommended, in principle, the Strategy and Framework to the Board for approval. To help answer some questions raised at GPF further clarity was added regarding accountability and funding. These changes have been made in the Strategy and Framework documents and recommended to the Board as amended.

On June 11, 2015, the Board asked for a further Consultation with CAOs and passed two motions approving, in principle, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic Development Framework and the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic Development Strategy 2015-2018 subject to consultation with a CAO advisory committee.

On March 10, 2016 the Board passed a motion to incubate a formal regional economic development model, which would be independent of the CRB, for further development and that administration seek Provincial support for the next steps, and administration to report on progress in June.

At the June 9, 2016 Board meeting, during the CEO report, Mayor Greg Krischke, Leduc, spoke briefly about the release of the Blue Ribbon Panel report, which was being released the next day June 10, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. There was no further discussion of the incubation motion.

At the September 13, 2016 Board meeting, the CEO provided an update on incubation.

On December 21, 2016 the first meeting of an Interim Board was held at CRB offices.
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For further information, contact:
Loreen Lennon, Media Liaison
Phone:  (780) 868-5011 cell (587) 982-4998
Or visit www.capitalregionboard.ab.ca