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Fraser Valley, British Columbia, June 28, 2021— The governments of Canada and British Columbia continue to invest in infrastructure during this extraordinary time to enhance peoples’ quality of life, meet the needs of communities, and support local economies to continue to address the impact of COVID-19.
Today, Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood–Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Josie Osborne, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, Acting Mayor for the Township of Langley Bob Long, and Lissa Dawn Smith, Acting President, Métis Nation, announced funding to upgrade local infrastructure in Surrey and the Fraser Valley area. They were also accompanied by Member of the B.C. Legislature for Langley East, Megan Dykeman.
These infrastructure projects will bring a multitude of benefits to communities and people, including ensuring protection from seismic events, responding to a growing demand for enhanced recreational and outdoor spaces, and fulfilling operational needs safely.
Among these projects, the City of Langley will upgrade and expand the W.C. Blair Recreation Centre to increase capacity and improve service. The project will double the fitness area, build a kitchenette, and install electrical and mechanical systems, as well as plumbing and flooring.
The Métis Provincial Council of B.C., located in Surrey, will carry out the “Mamawii” project to provide a culturally appropriate service centre and gathering place where Métis people can access community and cultural programs, seek employment and training, and apply for Métis citizenship. The project includes renovating 8,000 square feet of existing space, conducting electrical and mechanical work, installing signage, and other related works.
The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are investing over $13 million in the projects announced today (see backgrounder), through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Community Resilience stream. Canada is contributing over $8 million, and B.C. is contributing more than $ 5 million. Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements regarding consultations with Indigenous groups.
“These infrastructure projects will help ensure safe and sustainable facilities in Surrey and Fraser Valley, and support local economies as we recover from the pandemic. I’m also pleased that the funding announced today will help improve two First Nations and Métis community buildings. Today’s announcement is possible thanks to the strong collaboration between federal, provincial and municipal partners.”
Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood–Port Kells
“By building welcoming, healthy and connected communities, we are working to make people’s lives better as we emerge from the pandemic. Together, we are supporting the Township of Langley to improve the WC Blair Recreation Centre so it can continue to contribute to active living year-round, and upgrades to the Métis Council’s Mamawii Gathering Place will provide access to culturally appropriate programs, resources and services. These are only two of the many community projects we’re supporting with our local and federal partners to create jobs, improve community services and move through restart to a strong economy.”
The Honourable Josie Osborne, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs
“The pandemic reminded many of us just how important it is to have outlets for exercise and recreation. Spaces like the W.C. Blair Recreation Centre are integral to our communities. This funding will help make sure that facilities across the province are able to provide people with the services they need in a safe way. I’m looking forward to seeing W.C. Blair at full capacity again in the future, bustling with group activities.”
Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley-East
“Recreation centres are at the heart of every community, and their value to our mental, physical and social health has become abundantly clear during the pandemic. Federal and provincial funding under the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Program will help us expand and perform much-needed improvements to the WC Blair community centre in the Township of Langley, providing members of our community with a safe and physically-distanced place to enjoy a variety of sports, maintain active lifestyles and connect with each other year-round, for years to come.”
Jack Froese, Mayor of the Township of Langley
“The Mamawii Gathering Place in Surrey will be one of pride, where Métis people from across B.C. can host gatherings and meetings, and access a number of culturally appropriate resources, programs and services, including employment and training initiatives. Funding from the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure program will support Métis Nation B.C. in upgrading its gathering place, enhance the development of the socio-economic and cultural well-being of Métis people in B.C., and provide an opportunity for others to learn and experience Metis culture.”
Lissa Dawn Smith, Acting President, Métis Nation British Columbia
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs
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