The Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency learned last week that it will lose one third of its funding by this time next year.
The announcement came May 22 in a letter sent by Bernard Valcourt, minister responsible for the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency.
The federal body is slashing funding to regional economic development organizations like ADEDA in all four Atlantic provinces.
ADEDA currently gets one-third of its money from municipal partners, as well as one-third from the province and one-third from ACOA,”
Digby mayor Ben Cleveland told town council’s meeting May 22 that much remains uncertain about ADEDA’s future.
“We’re not sure how it’s going to evolve, or what they (ACOA) are going to be looking at in providing funding on a per case request, for specific projects that would have specific time frames and specific results.”
Valcourt’s announcement said money cut from the regional development agencies will be redirected towards small- and medium-sized business in Atlantic Canada. The move is meant to give priority and support to entrepreneurs and businesses.
In his letter, Valcourt said core funding to RDAs will end in one year, but they remain eligible for project funding from ACOA as long as their projects are aligned with ACOA priorities “and have a clear beginning and end date.”
Town councilor Jean Brittain said the funding cuts to ADEDA will likely have a significant impact on its staffing levels.
Cleveland agreed, and questioned whether the RDAs will be able to survive.
“If you lose a third of your funding, are you going to come back to your other two funders and ask for more?”
Cleveland said ACOA will send representatives to talk to municipal bodies about the upcoming changes.