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Vancouver Island and Coast communities receive over $3.9 million to revitalize public spaces and enhance tourism experiences

Press Release

From: Pacific Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada is making investments across British Columbia to refresh community spaces, attract new visitors, and stimulate local economies

January 13, 2023

Safe and inclusive public spaces and dynamic tourism attractions are key to vibrant communities. They bring together people of all ages and abilities, in turn supporting businesses and boosting economic vitality. Throughout Vancouver Island and the Coast of B.C., communities are already welcoming back residents and visitors alike to enjoy new and improved public spaces and tourism experiences.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced over $3.9 million in PacifiCan funding for 21 projects across Vancouver Island and the Coast. This includes $155,000 for two projects funded through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund and over $3.7 million for 19 projects funded through the Tourism Relief Fund.

The Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society is receiving $517,500 through the Tourism Relief Fund to expand the water taxi system connecting the five main Southern Gulf Islands, including Salt Spring, Galiano, Mayne, Pender and Saturna, and support 12 local Island events. The enhanced service will make it easier for tourists to visit the region year-round.

Upgrading existing infrastructure and building new public assets means British Columbians and visitors have better access to recreational programs and facilities. These projects grow economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve community wellness. Communities benefiting from today’s announcement include: Victoria, Campbell River, Tofino, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Madeira Park, Mansons Landing and Sechelt.

For the full list of projects, please see backgrounder here.

This funding announcement builds on the recent opening of PacifiCan offices in Victoria and Campbell River to help support economic development for British Columbians on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Central Coast and Sunshine Coast. With new officers living and providing service locally, PacifiCan will be more accessible to all communities in the region.

Quotes

“These investments demonstrate how the Government of Canada is helping boost economic development in communities across British Columbia. Investing in shared public spaces and tourism experiences will bring communities together and ensure that Vancouver Island and the Coast of B.C. thrives well into the future.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and the growth of the sector, we continue to provide targeted support to tourism businesses so they can keep delivering unforgettable experiences. A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“The Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership is very pleased to receive support from the Government of Canada through the Tourism Relief Fund. SGITPS has been able to create AquaLink to connect our five small island communities with a scheduled foot passenger water taxi that will support all of our island businesses, especially those providing visitor services.”
– Randy Cunningham, President, Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society

Quick facts

  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout British Columbia.
  • On November 25, 2022, PacifiCan opened new offices in Victoria and Campbell River, serving businesses and communities across Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Central Coast, and Sunshine Coast.
  • The Canada Community Revitalization Fund and Tourism Relief Fund programs launched in the summer of 2021.
  • The Canada Community Revitalization Fund provides $500 million over two years to help communities build and improve infrastructure, making public spaces safer, greener and more accessible.
  • The Tourism Relief Fund provides $500 million over two years to help tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth.

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Associated links

Contacts

Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and Minister Responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
[email protected]

Jillian Glover
Communications Manager
PacifiCan
[email protected]

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