RAC seat for Clovechok
The B.C. government has formed the Rural Advisory Council, where the needs of small communities are brought to the table
The function of British Columbia’s newly formed Rural Advisory Council (RAC), is described on the gov.bc.ca website as follows: “The council offers a strong new voice for rural citizens, ensuring that rural British Columbians have regular and meaningful input to government policy decisions on how to best support rural prosperity and thriving rural communities across B.C.”
In case you missed it, the focus of the council is on rural matters. Susan Clovechok, executive director of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, applied for a position on this new council and is now one of its 14 members. The council’s structure provides for continuity, with some members serving a one-year term and some serving a two-year term. The council is so new that at the time of our conversation with Clovechok, the first meeting of the group had not yet been held.
“I applied because in our area, the Columbia Valley, we don’t have an economic development officer or any single body responsible for community development or economic development, and I felt we were under-represented and may be missing opportunities,” Clovechok said.
“I believe that it’s important to grow our communities and have economic development in a way that allows our communities to maintain the characteristics that made us want to live here in the first place. We want to create opportunities that will allow our young people to remain here or return here to work. That’s why I applied.”
Clovechok’s background includes sales and marketing and training and development, making her well prepared to work in economic development. “I felt I had some skills to bring to the table,” she said, “and I certainly have a passion for the Columbia Valley. I believe we can grow our rural economy in a responsible way, and I’d like to be involved in that.”
Clovechok made it clear that the council will be providing advice to the government on policy development, but will not be making policy. It will provide input to the government to arrive at policy decisions that best support rural communities, while understanding the government’s need to control spending and ensure an overall balanced budget.
“I’m honoured to be representing the East Kootenay, and looking forward to getting started with the committee,” said Clovechok. “I’m excited about what I can learn, what I can contribute and what I can bring back into our communities.”