Thompson Economic Diversification Plan

Location
Thompson, Manitoba

Client
Vale Inc.

Date
2011 to present

Overview

The need to broaden and diversify the economic base in Thompson and surrounding region is a long-standing priority. Economic volatility in recent years coupled with the November 2010 announcement that Vale will transition its operations in Thompson to mining and milling by 2015, have underlined the need for the City, the region and community partners to tackle this issue head on. The Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group (TEDWG) was formed to spearhead this effort. SvN, working with affiliate firm rePlan, facilitated the TEDWG process with the goal of accelerating Thompson’s development as a regional service centre for northern Manitoba with a strong mining pillar.

SvN and rePlan worked with stakeholders to identify two streams of work that will help Thompson diversify its economy and strengthen its position as an economic contributor to northern Manitoba. A new regulatory framework, including an updated Development Plan and Zoning By-law; a Sustainable Asset Management Framework; and the Thompson and Region Infrastructure Plan address growth management and infrastructure development. Action Plans in the areas of Restorative Justice; Education and Training; Housing; Local and Regional Identity; and Economic Development provide strategic direction on specific initiatives.

The Thompson Economic Diversification Plan summarizes each of the Action Plans and Regulatory Framework documents undertaken through the TEDWG process. When taken together, these individual plans form a comprehensive framework for sustainable economic diversification, development and growth in the Thompson Region. All plans are available here.

The TEDWG was chaired by the City of Thompson, and includes representatives from Vale, the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Okimakanak Keewatinowi (MKO), Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC), Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), Northern Association of Community Councils (NACC), Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN), Thompson Unlimited and the Thompson Chamber of Commerce.

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Expertise

We engage stakeholders in every planning process we lead. In complex cases, we facilitate a round-table dialogue process with key stakeholders to create a common understanding of issues, concerns and opportunities. We apply our technical expertise and to these consensus-based decision-making processes, identifying clear and actionable planning priorities. This innovative approach has been recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners, which awarded our work in Thompson, Manitoba with the Award for Planning Excellence, in 2014.
We consult with a range of public sector clients on improving institutional capacity and core skills training in planning, development review and approvals, municipal governance, and corporate change management related to planning processes.
We apply our thorough understanding of the provincial and municipal regulatory context to develop studies and public policy instruments for local, provincial and federal governments and First Nations. These include: zoning by-laws, official plans, municipal development plans, local official plans, secondary plans, neighbourhood plans, and urban design guidelines.
Regions experiencing rapid change have opportunities to foster emerging economies, through the careful management of land, infrastructure, buildings and the natural environment. We help communities and government bodies plan for the future in ways that are both visionary and pragmatic.
Housing is a core focus of our business. We design innovative and adaptable buildings and master plans that respond to the immediate and future housing needs of diverse communities and all levels of income. We have a history of initiating and realizing housing projects that fill critical gaps in the market, and that are sensitive and adaptable to evolving cultures and contexts.
We plan and design multi-modal transit hubs and corridors including station area plans, LRT corridors, transit stations and border crossings. We take a systems approach to the planning and design of infrastructure, integrating multiple development priorities while preserving and enhancing the quality of the overall landscape. Key projects include the Fort Erie Gateway Master Plan and the Allen District Urban Guidelines & District Plan.
Our team conducts research and creates strategy for government and non-government clients on a wide range of economic development issues. This includes strengthening, broadening and diversifying the economic base of regions, cities and towns and accelerating development through improvements to land use, urban design, planning policy and governance.