Resources West can't exist without ACOA funding, board decides

Eric McCarthy
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Resources West's general manager, David Anderson, insists it will be business as usual with West Prince's regional economic development organization until funding runs out next May.

There is bound to be a bigger onus placed on provincial and federal government staff to drive economic development in West Prince starting next May, suggests David Anderson, general manager of Resources West.

That is when the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is due to cut off core funding to 50 regional economic development organizations in Atlantic Canada.

Of the four organizations in P.E.I. that's losing core funding, Resources West is the only one that does not have assets of its own.

What's left, Anderson is asked.

"Nothing. That's it. We don't generate revenue.

"The board has made the decision, basically that, without any assets and without any core funding, we simply can't exist," Anderson reported. "We don't have an opportunity at this point in time to be able to generate revenue to sustain operations."

He said the Resources West board has been asking both levels of governments to indicate who will fill Resources West's mandate.

Board chairman Doug Fraser declined an interview Wednesday, indicating he is still looking for answers.

Resources West normally carries a full-time staff of four, plus term positions. One of the full-time positions is currently vacant and will not be filled.

Resources West takes up most of the main floor area of the Rural Action Centre on the corner of Main and Poplar Streets in Alberton. When it goes it will create another gaping hole in Alberton's downtown business district.

Resources West was formed in 2000. Anderson became general manager in 2004. Since then, he said, his organization has helped develop, facilitate and manage projects in West Prince that had a combined value in excess of $26 million.

More than 200 people have gained term employment through the projects, he said.

Those projects included the Canada Games fabrication project in Bloomfield in 2009, which employed a dozen workers for a year or more, and the redevelopment of the Culture Craft, West Point and Potato Museum projects.

Several business interns also got their start through Resources West.

Current projects include ones with the P.E.I. Shellfish Association to redevelop the Bideford Research Station for tourism potential, and further work in O'Leary and West Point.

Anderson stressed Resources West is not biding its time.

"As much as it can be business as usual, the intent is to be business as usual," he said.

"Basically, we're doing projects, probably, up until early April," Anderson said. "Anything that goes beyond the first of April, then we'll have to look at the scope of its work and make a determination whether it's something we can handle or not, and go from there."


Organizations: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Resources West board, Rural Action Centre Canada Games West Point and Potato Museum P.E.I. Shellfish Association Bideford Research Station

Geographic location: West Prince, Atlantic Canada, Alberton Bloomfield O'Leary West Point

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Recent comments

  • Prince County Realist
    October 05, 2012 - 19:29

    You would think if they generated $26 Million in development that they would have had the foresight to build up assets in case funding dried up. It has been that type of planning that has kept Prince County in the dark ages for too long now.If the funding is reinstated it will be time for as new board and management. Great work guys...Not.

    October 05, 2012 - 18:22

    Great! It's about time they ended the gravy train. How much money was spent on the building in Alberton and the salaries for these 4 full time people. It's time Islanders stood on their own two feet instead of always looking for handouts from governments. As Mr Anderson says when asked what's next, "nothing, we don't generate any revenue. That says it all.

  • Jimmy
    October 05, 2012 - 14:50

    If it cant generate revenue ...why does it even exists? I dont blame the government for closeing this down in western prince

  • don
    October 05, 2012 - 14:13

    mr there is more to PEI then western. you have gail shea donating all the money you need. while the rest of PEI gets no help thanks to dumbies voting in all liberals. chtown has ghizzy to supply them with money. we need a real persobn who is in for ISLANDERS. not just a slect gang.

  • save your suggestions for your next job pal
    October 05, 2012 - 13:10

    Its all over but the crying, evidently. Government spending just got to corrupted and ACOA and Kevin MacAdam should be all put on the street. Useless freeloaders.

  • Joe Hest
    October 05, 2012 - 12:19

    Maybe after 12 years this entity has outlived its usefulness and it is time to give the taxpayers a break. It would be interesting to see a cost analysis for these 12 years, just to see if this has been anything more than a make work project for the staff.Gov. should get out of all these questionable projects.

  • to bad so sad so get a real job
    October 05, 2012 - 11:53

    ACOA should be scrapped entirely and too any other like parasites. Audit the loans. Here is a guy did 26 million and has no assets. Its a government hand out concession and the party is over. The GDP is to much government hand outs to lip service mandates. thanks eh