Cranbrook hoping to get Innovation Technology Centre

Council hopes the province will consider Cranbrook for an economy-driving centre

The City of Cranbrook is hoping to get an Innovative Technology Centre in town, though the province hasn’t put out much for details on the centres.

The centres would be a resource to help develop innovative technology companies in the area.

Mayor Wayne Stetski noted that Premier Christy Clark spoke about establishing the centres in the province at a Union of British Columbia Municipalities meeting last year.

Clark talked about establishing six centres at that time, but because Stetski hadn’t heard anything more on the topic, he decided to send the premier a letter.

Stetski said part of the city’s interest in having a centre comes from a year ago when the city, along with other local stakeholders, visited Taicang, China and Wonju, South Korea, to develop relationships with both elected officials and businesses between the three cities. The trip included a tour of an Innovative Technology Centre in Taicang and an Agricultural Centre in Wonju. Stetski said both could be a potential model for an Innovative Technology Centre.

“I sent a letter to the premier, concerning Innovative Technology Centres,” Mayor Wayne Stetski said at the June 9 council meeting.

The correspondence was then shared with Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.

Coun. Diana J. Scott was glad that the letter was sent to the premier.

“We have a real exciting potential if we were to get something like that,” Scott said. “All kinds of small business, large business, innovative companies – we’re doing all kinds of amazing things and there’s no reason that we can’t do that here, create some jobs, have some light industry, with our transportation hub. It would be absolutely fantastic. So I’m glad that we formally tried to get on such a list, even though we talked about it earlier.”

In his letter, Stetski asked if the development of the centres is still a priority for the province, how the City of Cranbrook could get on the radar for consideration of one of those centres, and who the city should liaise with on the initiative.

The premier responded that council would be receiving a subsequent response from the minister or his designate sometime in the future.