Saturday January 8, 2010

City Hall

Chilliwack To Cambodia

City planners hope to help improve living conditions



here's an ancient Cambodian proverb that says "You don't have to cut a tree down to get at the fruit". In a more technical sense, Chilliwack City planners are hoping to do just that and empower local governments in Cambodia with the knowledge and training to provide more effective services that advance sustainable and equitable local development growth.


On Monday, Chilliwack council will be voting on a resolution to seal the deal after Chilliwack was one of 4 municipalities from 2 provinces selected to send City planners on "technical missions" 3-4 times a year to Cambodia in a pilot program coordinated the Canadian Municipalities Foundation.

The 5-year, $18.4-million project is funded through the Canadian International Development Agency and is called the Local Economic Development Strategic Planning Project.

The purpose of the global initiative is to focus on supporting and managing sustainable and equitable economic development in third world countries such as Cambodia.

The program's theme will be environmental sustainability and equality for men and women.

In Chilliwack's case, the project will help city planners in Cambodia however, this program reaches into other parts of Asia and Africa as well.

The best part of the program is that it's at no cost to Chilliwack. Staff going will have all accommodations, meals and travel expenses paid for by the fund.

and will teach third world planners about infrastructure, sustainability and economic development in a global initiative with an overall aim of reducing poverty and upgrading standard of living in the third world, in particular Africa and Asia.

City staff successfully wooed the federal government in an extensive application and review process. According to John Jansen in a City Hall memo, "the program will be an opportunity for the professional development of staff."

Chilliwack will also see itself thrust into the global participation network which will encourage and enhance international trade.

It's unclear how many staff will make the trips several times a year or if City planners, Kurt Houlden and Lisa Thompson, will be the ones selected from the talent pool on Young Rd.


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