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BC Government: Recovery grants support jobs in rural communities

Press Release

Feb. 23, 2021

VICTORIA – People living in rural communities throughout the province will soon benefit from B.C. government grants that will support new jobs and economic opportunities to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

As part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, grants totalling $20 million for 38 rural projects have been approved. The response also includes StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, which protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.

“We are working to support economic recovery in every corner of the province, so families and communities can get through the pandemic and start looking towards their futures again,” said Premier John Horgan. “These shovel-ready projects will put people living in rural British Columbia back to work immediately and support building diversified economies in their communities.”

Rural Economic Recovery (RER) program grants will support communities recovering from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and build their economies for the future.

“Our government is connecting communities with the resources they need to create jobs and new economic opportunities,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This has been a challenging year for British Columbians, and the remoteness of some rural communities can mean additional challenges. These grants will have a positive impact as communities manage through COVID-19 and beyond.”

Funding for Indigenous government and organization, local government and not-for-profit projects will support immediate job creation through construction. Upgrades to municipal or Indigenous-owned industrial parks, airport expansions, marine access facilities, destination trail networks and improvements to rural-based mountain resorts will also help rural communities grow and diversify their economies.

“StrongerBC is about building an economic recovery that includes everyone, and it is vital our rural communities remain vibrant,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “The RER program is one part of our commitment to spark job growth and help build stronger communities throughout B.C.”

The RER funding is part of $100 million of restart money administered through the provincially funded Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP). CERIP provides fully funded provincial grants to support economic resilience, tourism, heritage and urban and rural economic development projects in communities impacted by COVID-19.

Learn More:

Stronger BC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/StrongerBC_BCs-Economic-Recovery-Report.pdf

Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/cerip

A backgrounder follows.

Contact:

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 213-8172


BACKGROUNDER

Grants support 38 rural economic projects

Thirty-eight projects will receive a total of $20 million through the Rural Economic Recovery stream of the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program.

Projects led by Indigenous communities, local governments or not-for-profits have been approved in communities throughout B.C.

Cariboo Region

Anahim Lake:

  • Cariboo Regional District, Anahim Lake Airport Runway Improvements, $300,000: correct terrain slopes so the airport can continue to support tourism, business, medevac and emergency flights.

McBride:

  • Dunster Community Forest Society, Inventory Storage, $88,000: expand woodworking building to air dry lumber, store finished materials and increase production abilities.
  • Fraser Headwaters Alliance, Historic Goat River Trail Upgrade, $202,924: construct elevated supports for cable car operation to ease hiker crossing, reroute western portion of trail.

Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and Powder King Mountain Resort

  • Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, Pine Pass Adventure Center – Highway 97 Pine Pass, $1 million: new facility at base of mountain to allow expansion of shoulder and summer season activities.

Quesnel:

  • Gold Rush Cycling Club, Wonderland Trail Network Expansion, $87,520: expansion of trail network.

Williams Lake:

  • Williams Lake Cycling Club, Williams Lake Mountain Bike Trail Upgrade Project, $253,085: construct machine-built downhill mountain bike trail and improved uphill route on Fox Mountain trail network.

Kootenay Region

Regional District of East Kootenay areas E, F, G:

  • Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance, Invermere to Radium project – Eagle Ranch Segment, $976,455: shovel-ready section of six-section expansion of legacy trail.

Invermere:

  • District of Invermere, Athalmer Destination Trails, $983,000: destination trails and boardwalks to connect existing sidewalks and trails.

Village of Kaslo, Regional District of Central Kootenay Area D:

  • Regional District of Central Kootenay, North Kootenay Lake Rural Recovery Project, $197,413: strengthen local business supply chains, incubate agricultural capacity, foster adoption of digital marketing and e-commerce.

Mainland/Southwest

Harrison Hot Springs:

  • Village of Harrison Hot Springs, Trail Network Development, $350,000: completion of Miami River Greenway with wide and fully accessible multi-directional trail.

Lillooet:

  • Lillooet Agriculture and Food Society, Lillooet Agricultural Facility, $267,500: facilitate construction and operation of a facility to address shortage of storage and processing areas for local farmers, ranchers and producers.

Mount Currie:

  • Lil’wat Nation, Lil̓wat Nation Marketplace Infrastructure Project, $1 million: power, water and other infrastructure servicing for mixed-use commercial development to support Indigenous business growth.

Nicomen:

  • Nicomen Indian Band, Nicomen Indian Band Agricultural Development Project, $445,000: infrastructure to support band-owned agricultural development.

Zaitscullachan IR#9:

  • Leq’a:mel Development Corporation, Zaitscullachan IR#9 Greenhouse / Propagation Facility, $999, 000: development and construction of cannabis micro grow facility.

Nechako

Burns Lake:

  • Burns Lake Native Development Corporation, Burns Lake Native Development Corporation Forestry Operations Expansion Initiative, $779,433: increase capacity through new facility for band owned forestry business for repair and maintenance and training.

Murray Ridge Ski Area, District of Fort St. James:

  • Fort St. James Ski Club, Murray Ridge Ski Area Revitalization Project, $605,360: expansion for year-round tourism by resurfacing lift, rehabilitating t-bar and building two new mountain-bike trails.

North Coast

Dease River First Nation:

  • Dease River Development Corporation, Good Hope Lake Worker Accommodation Initiative, $669,729: purchase mobile camp to address shortage of housing for out-of-town workers.

Village of Queen Charlotte:

  • Misty Isles Economic Development Society, Haida Gwaii E-Commerce Project, $313,947: develop online marketplace for artisanal products and encourage business owners to adopt e-commerce.

Prince Rupert:

  • City of Prince Rupert, Waterfront Airport Ferry Landing Development, $1 million: support development of ferry dock as part of multi-faceted waterfront development.

Terrace:

  • Terrace Off Road Cycling Association, Spring Creek Expansion Project, $267,960: ease congestion by constructing three new trails on Terrace Mountain/Steinhoe Ridge Trail Network.

Thompson/Okanagan

Beaverdell, Greenwood, Midway, Narmata and Rock Creek:

  • Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail Improvement, $450,000: infrastructure improvements and advance implementation of the KVR master plan.

Blind Bay:

  • South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce, Establishment of Economic Development and Business Support Hub, $82,000: support establishment of year-round hub and visitor centre to address lack of commercial space and improve broadband access.

Clearwater:

  • The Clearwater Ski Club, Clearwater Ski Lodge Renewal Project, $250,000: build tourism as an economic pillar and establish the area as an attractive and affordable year-round event and wedding destination.

Lumby:

  • Lumby and District Chamber of Commerce, MAKE IT LOCAL, $9,750: inventory of storefronts and opportunities to make local products or expand existing production.

Osoyoos:

  • Osoyoos Airport Development Society, Osoyoos Airport Expansion and Improvements, $524,174: safety, service and site improvements.

Vancouver Island/Coast

Anacla, Bamfield:

  • Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Campground Expansion, $510,340: addition of sites, new trails and service upgrades, and an access road at Pachena Bay Campground.

Comox:

  • Town of Comox, Marine Services Building, $1 million: construct indoor and outdoor commercial and retail space in the growing Comox Marina.

Dididaht:

  • Ditidaht First Nation, Marine Access Revitalization, $409,871: expand and upgrade the dock, including platform, fencing, pedestrian ramp, lighting and interpretive kiosk.

Gwa’yas’dums, Gilford Island

  • Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, Revitalizing the Shores of Gwa’yas’dums – Buddy Bay Campground, $274,971: assessments, design and construction of kayak-accessible Buddy Bay campground.

Malahat First Nation, Mill Bay:

  • Malahat First Nation, Malahat Business Park Infrastructure Expansion, $999,281: final stage of clearing, grading and services for light industrial development.

Mount Cain Alpine Park, Regional District of Mount Waddington Area D:

  • Mount Cain Alpine Park Society, Mount Cain Lodge, $874,000: construct new day lodge to house services and support move to summer operations.

Pacheedaht First Nation, Port Renfrew:

  • Pacheedaht First Nation, Campground Expansion, $992,589: add serviced and unserviced camp sites, service additional sites, washroom facilities and parking, and improve access.

Port Renfrew:

  • WorkLink Employment Society, Mobile Visitor/Business Information Center, $280,000: trailer, renovations, landscaping, services for a visitor centre that can be relocated.

Regional District of Nanaimo Area F, Parksville:

  • Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce, Mid Vancouver Island Micro- fulfillment Centre, $620,000: construct scalable and modular warehouse for storage and shipping of local business goods.

Powell River:

  • qathet Regional District Area C, Powell River Airport Runway Extension Phase 1, $1 million: cap landfill to allow for runway expansion to support deliveries and passenger flights.

Salt Spring Island:

  • Salt Spring Abattoir Society, Salt Spring Abattoir Expansion, $222,525: expansion to increase processing capacity to support famers and meet demand for local meat.

Tlowitsis

  • Tlowitsis Nation, Redevelopment of the Naka Creek Campsite, $352,583: convert campsite to fee-for-service and upgrade facilities.

Tork IR#7:

  • Klahoose First Nation, Klahoose First Nation Marine Access Revitalization, $361,590: improve facilities, including dock extension, fish cleaning station, covered gathering area, boat ramp and parking.

Contact:

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 213-8172

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect

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