Acadia of the Lands and Forest Core Leadership Team Makes Progress

Stan Halle, a member of the VE Alliance, recently interviewed Cyrill Simard, Mayor of Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada and Sheila Jans, President CultureWorth, Madawaska, Maine to get an update on the work of the Economic Development Core Leadership Team for Acadia of the Lands and Forest, which encompasses Northwestern New Brunswick, Témiscouata (Quebec) and Northern Aroostook County, Maine.

Cyrill Simard said, “the core leadership team formed in the Spring 2014 continues with active participation of about 100 private, public and non-profit leaders from NW new Brunswick, Northern Maine and SE Quebec.” These leaders are following the 3-4 year action plan recommended by ViTAL Economy and adopted at the end of the Congrès mondial acadien 2014 Economic Summit in August 2014.

Key areas of focus for the Core Leadership Team include:

  1. reducing the international and provincial structural barriers to accelerate
  2. introduction of manufactured goods to international markets;
  3. skills development;
  4. workforce development;
  5. communications;
  6. branding.

Initial successes include, (i) pursuing an intermodal railroad inbound/outbound transfer station in Edmundston, NB and (b) connecting the snow-mobile trails across Acadia of the Lands and Forests to create an international network of trails that will be the largest of its kind anywhere in the world.

Stan, who led the team during our engagement in 2013-2014, provided this comment: “This cross-border regional community is tackling several challenging issues with both grit and leadership and they are making progress! I’d like to offer my personal congratulations to Francine Landry, who led this effort, and was recently elected as New Brunswick’s Minister of Economic Development.”

People can learn more about the vision, mission and declaration of the Core Leadership Team and follow the progress of this unique cross state-province and country border collaborative economic development effort at