TEAM B.C. NEWS CONFERENCE

Robson Media Centre, Vancouver.

September 16, 1982

Welcome to the opening play of a new team in our province – TEAM B.C. My name is George Fierheller and I might be thought of as being the coach.

Some of the original strategists were Joe Martin of B. C. Business Magazine and Richard Aim, a consultant in Vancouver. The quarterback is Skip Triplett and you will be hearing from him in his position as our Executive Director, in a few minutes.

This is truly a team effort. TEAM B.C. is not just the people on the executive committee. It is all of you who share the objective of keeping B.C. moving.

This province has been hard-hit by an international recession. But the last thing we should do is pass the buck to someone else. ‘They’, whoever ‘they’ may be, are not going to solve our problems for us. ‘They’ cannot help if we are not prepared to help ourselves.

This is what TEAM B.C. is all about.

We live in a marvellous province. We have a small population but one of the best educated in the world.

We have unmatched natural resources, including all kinds of sources of energy. We have forests. We have one of the world’s great supplies of fresh water.

We have a marvellous climate in one of the most scenic locations in the world.

We are located on the resource-hungry Pacific Rim.

In a word, we have everything going for us. However, as this is the first major recession most of us have gone through, confidence in our ability to turn the situation around is shaken.

What we may not recognize is that difficult times create oppor tunities. A period of retrenchment also gives us an opportunity for re-evaluation of the types of careers we are in, the communi ties we live in and even the businesses or organizations we run.

The aim of TEAM B.C. is to act as a catalyst to help us help each other in this process.

WHAT IS TEAM B.C.?

We believe it should encompass everyone who wants to help. There is a small voluntary executive committee of citizens from various sectors of the economy and various regions of the province.

The organization is not aligned with any political party, any special interest group, or any particular point of view.

The organization plans to work with labour, business, educational and media groups on a short-term basis to…

• promote confidence that we can and will turn the economy around

• help people, companies and communities to help themselves

• bring out new ideas for job creation and for new industries

THE PROGRAM TO MEET THESE AIMS

1. Promote Confidence:

There are plenty of good, innovative ideas and projects in B.C. despite the economic downturn. Organizations and governments at all levels are still developing positive programs.

We have set up an information exchange to collect as many positive news items as we can and will distribute these through a news letter and bulletins for use by the media and more importantly, to inspire others to pick up on good ideas.

We have established a speakers’ bureau to assist local groups throughout the province.

2. Develop Self-Help Programs:

Many communities have been particularly hard-hit. This is a time for a sensible assessment of the resources in communities and on a self-help basis, an opportunity for plotting new directions.

TEAM B.C. can help in this process. We have developed, with the help of Connor Development Services Ltd., a program for communities to start helping themselves. We will be holding our first community workshop or ‘workout’ on October 15th in Victoria and will be inviting community leaders from around the province to attend.

We expect to be-working closely with the educational community and associations, labour unions and other groups to encourage these community workshops.

3. Encourage New Job Creation Opportunities:

We are planning a series of industry workshops in co operation with business and labour to examine ways of creating new, entrepreneurial activities and new jobs.

We are holding a renewal B.C. conference in Vancouver January 19-21, 1983 to pull together many of these ideas. As a final commitment, we plan to pursue as many practical recommendations as arise out of these efforts with the private sector and various levels of government to ensure that the ideas are not lost.

HOW WILL TEAM B.C. GET FINANCIAL SUPPORT ?

We are doing as much as we can on a volunteer basis. We estimate that over $200,000 worth of services, supplies, peoples’ time and some limited funds have already been provided by the private sector. To date, no government support has been provided or specifically requested. Our intent is that no single group will be asked to do more than its share and no group will be allowed to dominate the financing.

HOW IS TEAM B.C. ORGANIZED?

We are incorporated under the B. C. Societies Act as a non profit organization.

Our work is done through a series of committees headed by volunteers.

We are fortunate, however, in having some volunteers on a full-time basis and so we have been able to staff an office for the period we will be operating.

HOW LONG WILL TEAM B.C. OPERATE?

We are an ad hoc group with a short-term objective of helping this province, not only get out of the present recession but also be better positioned to reach its full potential. We have therefore put a ‘sunset’ law on the activity and expect to complete our work as a stimulant by June 30, 1983.

ACTION

This means we operate with a real sense of urgency!

We are a catalyst operating in the short run to stimulate others to help themselves on a truly team basis.

We are not going to become part of the bureaucracy. Our approach is to work through and with existing organizations who can carry on the efforts when the team dissolves and its members go back to their other occupations.

We do not, of course, pretend to have all the answers. We are not a ‘they’ upon whom others should lean. We be lieve you have the answers for your communities, your organiza tions or your own careers.

What we can do is to provide an organized way of looking at what can be done – a framework in which the people of the province can help themselves.

YOU CAN JOIN THE TEAM

I hope you all consider yourselves a part of this team effort. You can help by –

1. Writing and telling us what you or your community organization are doing to turn this difficult period into a time of opportunity.

2. Suggesting what you believe could be done in your community at a grass roots level.

3. Volunteering to attend or lead a workshop in your community.

Contributions are, of course, welcome in any amount. They should be sent to TEAM B.C., 524 Davie Street, Vancouver, B.C.

These will help us ensure that the things we cannot get volun teered such as postage and telephone costs are covered and that the support is as broad as possible.

However, your participation is the most important thing. TEAM B.C. in turn will keep you up-to-date on what others are doing to help themselves.

Because we were a high-flying province, we fell faster than others. We can use the same energy and inventive approach that got us up there in the first place to get us back up there quickly.