Regional Pilot Communities in the Northeast

This page was last updated on June 15, 2023.

The Northeast economic region shares a border with Alberta and the Yukon, and is part of the Peace River Basin. It is separated from the northwestern part of the province by the Rocky Mountain Trench. It's a vast and remote area of mountains, foothills, forests, lakes and the Peace River valley. Residents enjoy hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, camping and fishing.
The region's economy includes natural resources like mining and oil and gas extraction, as well as construction, retail trade, health care and social assistance, and professional, scientific and technical services.


Participating communities in the Northeast region:

Fort St. John

Community description:
Fort St. John is looking for entrepreneurs who can fill its downtown store fronts with businesses such as restaurants, specialty food and convenience stores, bookstores, florists, personal care services, and office supply and gift shops.

As the largest city in Northeastern B.C., Fort St. John has a sizable economy centered on oil, natural gas, forestry, and agriculture. Fueled by ongoing activity in those sectors, the city and its supply of retail and other businesses continue to grow. The local government has prioritized upgrades and investments that support local business and downtown economic revitalization. 

Fort St. John is a great place to visit and play, and it offers a uniquely rich concentration of cultural activities and outdoor adventures, creating a fantastic combination for many to call home. It boasts top notch recreation facilities, and has hundreds of events taking place every year that entertain people of all ages and interests.

Looking to the future, Fort St. John has an economic development framework that recognizes how social and economic development are intimately intertwined and mutually supportive. Broken into 15 social and economic action areas identified through extensive community input, it sets the stage for all facets of the community to embark on a journey together; to seize opportunities, address challenges, and navigate change.
Priority Sectors:
722 - Food services and drinking places
4593 - Florists
4594 - Office supplies, stationery and gift retailers
458210 – Shoe retailers
459210 - Book retailers and news dealers

Population: 22,283

Tumbler Ridge 

Tumbler Ridge will be temporarily pausing intake for the EI Regional Pilot effective June 15, 2023. We will update this page when the community is ready to consider new business proposals. 

Community description: 
Tumbler Ridge has many business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the recreation, tourism and service sectors. The community is looking to attract accommodation providers who can offer a unique travel experience. Tumbler Ridge is also looking for entrepreneurs to start sports and outdoor equipment businesses, as well as veterinary and pet care services.
Tumbler Ridge has made a strategic decision to expand its tourism industry sustainably. The community is developing tools and resources to support entrepreneurs who want to start their own local tourism business. There is a Chamber of Commerce, various tax incentives, a shop local initiative, and an economic development office that delivers business-friendly initiatives, products and programs. Tumbler Ridge is well suited to ambitious, yet lifestyle and family-oriented workers and entrepreneurs who are interested in being part of the community’s tourism story.
Designed as a safe, walkable and family-friendly community, Tumbler Ridge offers leafy neighbourhoods with parks, playgrounds, sports fields, and social and cultural amenities. A dream destination for year-round outdoor enthusiasts, it features waterfalls, unique rock formations, alpine meadows and lakes, canyons, mountain summits, caves, and more. The community offers elementary and secondary schools, and has housing currently available, with more rural residential development planned. Tumbler Ridge has a highly active volunteer base, and lots of groups and sports to tap into. Newcomers are welcomed by the community, and everyone has a heart to help.
Tumbler Ridge was originally built with infrastructure for more residents than it has, and there are large areas of land set up for future residential development. As the town continues to grow and create new tourism stories alongside its heritage as a mining town, Tumbler Ridge will attract a diverse mix of new residents.

Priority Sectors:
7211 - Traveller accommodation
8121 - Personal care services
45911 - Sporting goods retailers
541940 - Veterinary services
621310 - Offices of chiropractors
621210 - Offices of dentists
624410 - Child day-care services
722511 - Full-service restaurants
722512 - Limited-service eating places

Population: 2,400