(Vegreville) – It’s been almost two years since the Government of Canada announced the closure of the Vegreville Case Processing Centre without any notification or consultation with the town. The devastating decision has cost Vegreville more than 200 jobs and has left the Town with many unanswered questions.
“We fought hard to keep the CPC in Vegreville but the Government of Canada would not change their mind,” said Mayor Tim MacPhee. “We have illustrated to them the devastating effects this decision has on our Town and have questioned why they don’t see the impact these decisions have on rural Canada.”
The Mayor adds, “While disappointed we could not change this outcome, our community leaders are now working hard to secure new opportunities for our community.”
Vegreville Town Council and local business leaders have been working hard to develop strategies to attract investment including:
- identifying Vegreville’s economic strengths,
- researching industries which are both value-added and sustainable, and
- meeting with various companies and investors.
Mayor MacPhee notes that a particular area of opportunity is the processing of value-added agriculture products.
“Vegreville offers business some tremendous advantages including knowledgeable producers, access to major transportation corridors, a skilled workforce, and high-speed internet,” said Mayor MacPhee. “We are also home to Innotech Alberta’s research centre which is home to some of Canada’s leading agricultural research.”
Vegreville must be competitive with other communities that are trying to attract investment. In order to capitalize on the economic opportunities Vegreville is asking both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta for resources and infrastructure to help create new jobs for our residents. The Alberta Government has already provided funds to help identify industry sectors we can target for investment.
“Our community needs financial assistance to build the infrastructure needed to attract and support new businesses,” Mayor MacPhee adds. “Vegreville is not asking both levels of government to solve our economic challenges, just asking for them to give us the tools so we can find the businesses who will invest here and create new jobs.”