New economic development strategy builds on rural advantages (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Bill Anderson

Communications Director
Minister of State for Rural Economic Development
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Email: bill.anderson@gov.bc.ca
250 888-3381

Backgrounders

Prince George benefits from Rural Dividend funding

The following provides a breakdown of funding provided by the Province for Prince George under the B.C. Rural Dividend Fund.

The Tabor Mountain Recreation Society is receiving $100,000 on behalf of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George from the B.C. Rural Dividend Fund to administer the Tabor Mountain Destination Trail Rehabilitation Project. This project will upgrade and rehabilitee the Frost Lake portion of the trail system. This work will provide a safer and more environmentally sensitive trail system for both motorized (ATV and snowmobile) and non-motorized (biking, horseback riding, hiking and cross country skiing) users.

Quote:

Art Kaehn, chair of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George –

“The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George is pleased to see the Tabor Mountain Recreation Society’s work supported with this grant.  The trail and bridge improvements will enhance the experience for visiting outdoor enthusiasts while ensuring environmental stewardship for both motorized and non-motorized recreational activities.”

Village of Valemount is receiving $100,000 from the B.C. Rural Dividend Fund for: Manufacturing Capacity Due Diligence – Vegetation Resource Industry. This project will support the Valemount Community Forest to access up to date information on their wood supply. Encompassing ground checks, vegetation verification and forest cover identification, this information gathered will be used to develop a comprehensive tool to assess the manufacturing capacity in the Robson and Canoe Valleys.

Quote:

Craig Pryor, manager, Valemount Community Forest Company –

 “This grant is a major step to rebuild our manufacturing industry that collapsed in 2006.  It allows the Valemount Community Forest to access up to date knowledge on our wood supply and gives us confidence to sustainably maximize our fibre flows.   We are very grateful for the support from the BC Rural Dividend Program and are excited to begin the project”.

Valemount Learning Society is receiving $100,000 from the B.C. Rural Dividend Fund for: Valemount College – Start Up Phase. The Valemount Learning society provides a range of services to the community and will use this funding to start phase one of establishing Valemount College, a non-profit institution focused on rural economic sectors. It will attract students to Valemount to gain accreditation in outdoor recreation, First Nations cultural tourism, rural entrepreneurship and tourism administration.

Quote:

Jennifer Applebaum, president, Valemount Learning Society –

 “The Valemount Learning Society is so thankful and extremely excited about receiving the BC Rural Dividend Funding.  We have been working on the development of this project for years, and now with this extra support, our dream for a private post-secondary school can finally become a reality.  We look forward to growing Valemount College as a social enterprise, and enhancing the economic development of the Village of Valemount.  Thank you!”

The District of Mackenzie is receiving $75,562 from the B.C. Rural Dividend Fund for the Little Mac Trails – Multipurpose Trail Route Development. The Little Mac Trails project will use this funding to construct approximately 2.2 kilometres of a natural-surface trail. Additions to the trail will include bridges and boardwalks to preserve environmentally sensitive areas and technical trail features to enhance the park experience for users. In addition to this, there will be four new trails following the perimeter of the Little Mac Ski Hill, utilizing the existing John Dahl Regional Park trail network.

Quote:

Kevin Clarkson, director of recreation services, District of Mackenzie

“We’re proud of this project because the intent is to promote active transportation. We want to get people out of their cars and on their feet exploring the area. We’ve got some beautiful scenery and Mackenzie Lake is one of the key recreation resources in the area.”

Community Futures Development Corporation of Fraser Fort George is receiving $100,000 from the B.C. Rural Dividend Fund for: Beyond the Market: Agri-Export Development in the Robson Valley. Agricultural enterprises in the Robson Valley region are on the verge of growth into new markets. This project will provide the learning opportunities needed to bridge farmers’ current knowledge & skills with the tools and resources offered through the Export Navigator Pilot Program. It will work with individual businesses and small groups to build export skills, relationships and capacity.

Quote:

Trish Appleton, Community Futures Fraser Fort George –

 “Community Futures Fraser Fort George is excited for the opportunity to work within the BC Rural Dividends Program by extending the Beyond the Market initiative to support Agri-Export Development in the Robson Valley.  In addition to continuing to build knowledge & skills in agri-business this project will work with individual businesses and small groups to build export skills, relationships and capacity to bridge existing stable business growth to export readiness.”

These are three of 109 grants being awarded to 42 local governments, 27 First Nations and 40 not-for-profit organizations throughout the province for single and partnership projects.

In February 2017, $756,591 in project development grants was awarded to help successful proponents develop strong single-applicant, or partnerships projects, that create or retain jobs and support economic diversity in their communities.

The $25-million-per-year Rural Dividend Fund was extended for a fourth year in Balanced Budget 2017. Funding is available in four categories:

  • community capacity building;
  • workforce development;
  • community and economic development; and
  • business-sector development.

Through the first two rounds of Rural Dividend funding has provided nearly $24 million to support projects that will diversify and strengthen the economy of rural communities throughout the province.

The third application intake will run from April 3, to May 31, 2017.

Prince George benefits from rural economic development funding

The following provides a breakdown of funding provided by the Federal and the Provincial Governments from the Canada-B.C. Job Fund and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers.

The Community Futures Development Corporation of Fraser Fort George is receiving $85,609 in funding through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund to deliver the Cariboo Business Entrepreneur Skills Training Program. This program provides entrepreneurial support and skills training in a flexible and supportive program, customized to the needs of each participant, for British Columbians who face barriers to employment.

The Prince George Employment Services Society is receiving $130,972 in funding through the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) funded by the Provincial and Federal Governments to deliver the Seasons Employment Program for Older Workers, a 14-week program that helps mature workers in B.C. re-enter the workforce.

The Prince George Employment Services Society is receiving $248,111 in funding through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund to deliver the Essential Skills Training and Job Readiness Program. This program provides employment and entrepreneurial training for British Columbians who face barriers to employment.

The YMCA of Northern B.C. is receiving $190,655 in funding through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund to deliver the Youth Works program. This program is a career-focused three week employment program offering youth with job skills training and long term planning support towards a rewarding career.

The College of New Caledonia is receiving $156,000 in funding through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund to deliver the Reintegration Industry Readiness Training program. This program provides job readiness and trade skills training programs for paroled Federal offenders from the Prince George Corrections Centre.