Kamloops – A Vibrant 21st Century Economy

People talk about diversifying our economy but when pushed for answers, most can only  grin weakly and manage the tired old answer…High-Tech.  But there is so much more than just high-tech and so much we can do to turn the decades ahead into best times of our lives.

There’s integration with light manufacturing.  Skill upgrades to match the changing economy.  Agriculture that includes manufacturing, farm-gate sales and tourism.  Aggressive marketing strategies targeted towards attracting new and existing businesses and people with needed skills. Using science to create new innovative products.  The list goes on and here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what Kamloops can do to become active, alive, involved and booming in the 21st century.

We can begin a scheduled series of Discover Kamloops weekends where entrepreneurs, existing small businesses and skilled professionals from the Coast are invited up under a hosted program to experience Kamloops first hand. Key to our presentation for moving their business here would be affordability (you can buy a house here for the price of a studio suite condo in Vancouver), we’re family friendly, our amazing outdoors lifestyle, serious IT infrastructure, transportation hub, proximity to major markets and room to grow and expand.

We can also start packaging the benefits of integrating innovative ideas and technology with light manufacturing. If you’ve invented or improved on a product or technology then why not build it here as well?  Producing your product here takes advantage of our well-established and proven transportation and distribution infrastructure. And we can even offer independent 3rd party testing and product validation right here at TRU.

Or how about we get back to our roots…so to speak…and look at new opportunities in agriculture. Small-scale hop farms built on the model of wine country but with farm-gate microbreweries offering tours, craft beer tasting rooms, restaurants and on site sales. This is product manufacturing 21st century style and a perfect add on for tourism as well.

Go the science route and establish new specialties or niche markets. Become the specialists in developing yeasts for brewing. Develop new techniques for reforestation…get geeky and start a new business

Pick a technology specialty like green energy or communications and establish a centre of excellence that will attract other innovators, create market awareness and build new companies.

Start a new computer science degree program that specializes in gaming and simulation and bring in industry leaders with branch offices here in Kamloops that will hire our new graduates.

Teach new skills that will allow you to telecommute instead of being forced to leave Kamloops.

Add new trade diploma programs in electronics and manufacturing so that we have the people to build what we invent.

This is my kind of Kamloops. A Kamloops that is not bound to the old ways simply because, “that’s the way we’ve always done it”. It’s about looking at the new global realities, recognizing new opportunities and providing the kind of leadership that has been missing and is so badly needed.

As Mayor I would want to insure that in the future we are never again forced to choose between 200+ jobs and the health of 90,000 residents. A robust, diversified economy, with well paying jobs is step one in creating that healthy, safe community of the near future.

Help me return leadership and positive change to City Hall. Vote September 30th for Bill McQuarrie as Mayor of Kamloops.