Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, issued the following statement today to recognize Local Government Awareness Week:
“The Government of British Columbia is proud to proclaim May 17-23 as Local Government Awareness Week. We work in partnership with the province’s 189 local governments (162 municipalities and 27 regional districts) and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities to help build strong, successful communities, large and small, urban and rural, throughout B.C.
“Local governments play a key role building essential infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, water systems, schools, public-safety and recreational facilities to help communities in British Columbia thrive and grow. By providing effective, up-to-date infrastructure, local governments support economic growth, create jobs, stimulate investment, attract people and sustain a high quality of life for citizens.
“The B.C. government helps local governments provide these important services through direct grants. In 2015, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development increased funding for local government grant programs by $5 million, from over $119.7 million last year to over $124.7 million. The increases apply to the Small Community Grants Program and the Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Program.
“The B.C. government also assists local governments by building partnerships that make significant federal investment in local infrastructure available. For example, the Gas Tax program will invest $2.76 billion in B.C. local governments over the next 10 years - and the New Building Canada Fund represents a $327 million investment over the next decade.
“I encourage all British Columbians to take a keen interest in their local government and volunteer their energy and expertise to help their community shine as a great place to live, work, invest and visit.”
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development