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Grants support tourism, infrastructure in Vancouver Island communities

Press Release

Aug. 23, 2022

HORNBY ISLAND – People living on Hornby Island and northern Vancouver Island will see a boost in tourism and local food production through a series of rural development grants.

“Jobs and economic opportunities flourish in communities that have the tools they need to adapt and grow,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “With the help of rural development grants and our StrongerBC Economic Plan, we are providing rural communities with more resources to attract visitors and build important infrastructure to help create a more sustainable economy for all British Columbians.”

Supported by the StrongerBC Economic Plan, the B.C. government is supporting tourism and infrastructure in the region with more than $2.5 million in grants for Indigenous organizations and local governments, including those hit hard by the cumulative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, floods, fires and extreme weather.

“Rural communities on the North Island are working hard to expand and diversify their local economies, while supporting the people they serve,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. “I’m grateful that we’re able to support locally grown projects all across our province, helping communities achieve their own visions of sustainable and resilient success.”

One project that demonstrates community sustainability is the Hornby Island Farmland Trust Society’s food-processing facility. The B.C. government has provided the society more than $625,000 for the construction of a facility that will aid in the creation of jobs for entrepreneurial food businesses and increase food security for people living on the island.

“Hornby Islanders are proud of their way of life and their goals to create a more sustainable and self-sufficient island,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “With the help of this rural development grant, the Hornby Island Farmland Trust Society will be able to develop a new food-processing facility that is open for any Hornby Island resident to use. This project will significantly contribute to community health and local food security.”

Additional rural development grants provided to northern Vancouver Island communities are:

  • Kwakiutl First Nation: almost $440,000 for economic development on the Klickseewy 7 reserve.
  • Homalco First Nation: almost $1 million for the Aupe (Church House) community pier replacement.
  • Village of Cumberland: more than $480,000 for water service to undeveloped land along Union Road.

Building resilient communities is a key action in the Province’s StrongerBC Economic Plan, helping move British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone.

Quotes:

Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island –

“North Vancouver Island is one of the most rugged, remote and beautiful regions in B.C., a place where tourists come to escape city life and be surrounded by nature. Through these rural development grants, local and Indigenous communities can benefit from much-needed infrastructure upgrades that will add more employment opportunities, increase tourism and create a better way of life for many people in the region.”

Leslie Baird, mayor, Village of Cumberland –

“The village is grateful for the funding from the Province of British Columbia in support of this important water infrastructure expansion project. We look forward to future engagement with residents on land-use planning for village-owned lands in the vicinity, as well as on the development of a village-operations facility on Union Road.”

Gary Manzer, president, Hornby Island Farmland Trust Society –

“The Hornby Island Farmland Trust Society is grateful for the funding to build a food-processing facility. This facility is sorely needed and will go a long way in helping us achieve local food security on this remote island.”

Learn More:

Learn more about the StrongerBC Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan

Four backgrounders follow.

Contact:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705


BACKGROUNDER 1

Homalco First Nation – Aupe (Church House) community pier replacement project

The Aupe (Church House) community pier peplacement project will replace the previous federal dock infrastructure. The original dock was removed in 2010 after the people of Homalco First Nation were forced to disperse from their last village site in the territory of Bute Inlet and the Discovery Islands.

Aupe is important historically and socially, and is critical to the economic growth and cultural healing of the Homalco First Nation membership. Years of colonial history devastated the economic independence and connection of the Homalco people to their traditional land. Aupe is seen as key for the Nation to grow economically, heal and return to their land, none of which can take place without a proper pier and dock, which the replacement resolves.

The project will open the area up for economic activity, such as tourism cultural tours, accommodation, marina services and kayak tours.

The Homalco First Nation has received $998,000 for the project.

Contact:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705


BACKGROUNDER 2

Hornby Island food-processing facility

The Hornby Island Farmland Trust Society’s project will build a food-processing facility on 12 acres of land that the trust holds a 99-year exclusive licence to occupy. It will be located next to the Donny Farris Community Farm and Garden, the first of the society’s food-security projects.

The facility will have an outdoor food-washing area, large indoor food-processing worktables, freezer/cooler capacity, a loading dock for facilitating logistics in the truck transport of palletized foodstuffs and a small retail counter. The food-processing facility will be a job-creation incubator for entrepreneurial food businesses.

Additionally, any Hornby resident who needs to clean, process, refrigerate, freeze and transport agricultural will be able to rent this facility for their personal or business use.

The facility will be owned by the Farmland Trust Society on a not-for-profit basis and operated for the benefit of the whole community. There will also be a paid manager and it will be a model facility for demonstrating best practices in grey-water recycling, rainwater harvesting and for educating island residents in food-safe techniques pertaining to processing and preserving food.

The facility will significantly contribute to community health and local food security on this remote island.

The Hornby Island Farmland Trust Society received $626,750 for the project.

Contact:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705


BACKGROUNDER 3

Klickseewy 7 – critical infrastructure project

The Klickseewy critical infrastructure project will provide the necessary infrastructure to allow economic development to occur on Klickseewy 7.

The project will see the installation of a septic system that will allow the Kwakiutl First Nation to ramp up operations at Klickseewy 7 over the long term. By providing the capacity required to accommodate additional development, Kwakiutl First Nation will be able to develop and include additional campgrounds, cabins, public washrooms, an expanded restaurant and lodge operations, eco-tourism, and First Nation cultural education and tours.

The Kwakiutl First Nation has received $439,382 for the project.

Contact:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705


BACKGROUNDER 4

Village of Cumberland – Union Road water main project

The Union Road watermain project will bring water servicing to the undeveloped lands along Union Road in the Village of Cumberland.

The project includes the construction and installation of approximately one kilometre of water main infrastructure along Union Road between Cumberland Road and Royston Road.

Union Road is a main north-south connector road in the village, joining these two main road entries into the community. The junction of each of the entry roads at Union Road are home to existing commercial and light industrial businesses. The intersection of Cumberland and Union Road is also located approximately 50 metres from the Comox Valley’s main access point to Inland Island Highway 19 (Exit 117). The proximity of Union Road to this key transportation hub, as well as the economic development opportunities available in the adjacent village-owned lands, make it a key development opportunity for the Village.

The Village of Cumberland has received $481,625 for the project.

Contact:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705

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

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