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John’s interest in public policy, finance and social enterprises led him to his current role as Chief Financial Officer of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. Before joining the Regional District, he was a counselor for the Village of Burns Lake. It was this political career that first sparked his passion for community economic development. John joined the CED program to learn how to further develop the local economy for small towns in British Columbia.
John’s project aims to revitalize the downtown area of Burns Lake by bringing new people and businesses, strengthening the local economy and sense of community. Burns Lake has few businesses open on Sundays or later than 6pm so this is the starting place for this project. The Village of Burns Lake in partnership with the Beacon Community Society is constructing a three-story LEED gold building which will include three retail storefronts on the first floor and market and non-market apartments on the second and third floors. When people move into the residential units and the retail storefronts open with extended hours, life and activity will animate the area and encourage growth in other businesses.