For international work with the Philippines, Cambodia
© Darrell Cole - Amherst Daily News
Amherst's Community and Economic Development director Roger MacIsaac (left) is presented a plaque from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities by Amherst Mayor Robert Small.
AMHERST – Amherst’s director of Community and Economic Development has been honoured by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for his work on a pair of international projects.
As part of International Development Week, MacIsaac was recognized by the national municipal organization for his work with Escalante City in the Philippines and, more recently, a project he is working on voluntarily with Cambodia.
“It was a bit of surprise, I’m really honoured with his honour,” MacIsaac said after a small ceremony at Amherst town hall on Thursday.
Between 2002 and 2009, MacIsaac served as the local co-ordinator for the Amherst-Escalante partnership that focused on local economic development and activities relating to the creation of a local economic development plan and tourism strategy for the city.
Amherst was honoured by the federation in 2010 for its work in Escalante.
“In the case of Escalante we developed a local economic development strategy that was a simple one. There were things in the strategy like the one-stop business centre that streamlined economic development,” MacIsaac said. “Before then getting a business licence could take up to two weeks and there were many levels of bureaucracy to go through. The goal was to refine the process so it would take a day”
Since 2009, MacIsaac has served as a local economic development advisor in Cambodia. He provided advice to the FCM in establishing the program four years ago and he has continued to support the project on an ongoing basis.
“Roger has been a valuable source of information and leadership and has shown great commitment to his projects,” Amherst Mayor Robert Small said while making the presentation on behalf of the FCM. “He has worked many long hours, often taking personal time to complete projects as well as attend conferences and seminars.”
His commitment to the Cambodia project will see him traveling there in a few weeks to work with the country’s league of communes and sagats in training trainers to deliver the economic development program.
He will also be going to Danang, Vietnam to facilitate a local economic development workshop for southeast Asian communities.
“I will be facilitating a best practices workshop in local economic development with a number of communities. There will probably be people there from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam,” MacIsaac said. “They will provide information on what has worked best in their countries.”
MacIsaac is doing this work on his own time independent of his work with the town, using vacation time to travel.
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