New economic development strategy to build on rural advantages on North Vancouver Island (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

North Vancouver Island benefits from Rural Dividend funding

With the release of B.C.’s rural economic development strategy, the Province is making immediate investments of $14,315,524 through the Rural Dividend Fund to help rural communities diversify and strengthen their economies, including more than $871,700 for six projects on northern Vancouver Island.

The Regional District of Mount Waddington is receiving $500,000 for its North Island Forest Industry Attraction, Training and Retention Strategy which will involve the Village of Alert Bay, Coal harbour, Gwa'Sala-Nakwaxda'wx First Nation, Holberg, Hyde Creek, Kwakiutl First Nation, Malcolm Island, 'Namgis First Nation, Village of Port Alice, District of Port Hardy, Town of Port McNeill, Quatsino and Quatsino First Nation, Winter Harbour and Woss. The strategy is intended to attract, train and retain skilled forest sector employees.

The Dzawad’a-enuxw First Nation is receiving $90,000 to develop bed and breakfast style accommodation in Kingcome Village which will help the First Nation further develop tourism opportunities.

Nanwakolas Council receives $100,000 to implement its training and employment strategy to meet the community’s needs for youth, unemployed and underemployed. The strategy, funded as a labour market partnership is a comprehensive strategy that involves the five Nanwakolas member First Nations.

The Village of Zeballos receives $91,720 to develop the community unity trail, a multi-phase, multi-use recreational trail that will connect the Villages of Tahsis and Zeballos and the First Nation community of Ehattesaht. The 25-kilometre trail, for the most part, will use former logging roads. New trail sections will total 1.5 kilometres. Trail heads will include marshalling areas, picnic tables and washrooms. The trail will be designed to accommodate hikers, mountain bikers and off road vehicles.

The Village of Port Alice receives $80,000 for its economic development and community sustainability project. As part of the project, the village wants to purchase and redevelop an RV campground and restaurant and upgrade and expand services at the municipal marina.

The Port McNeill Kids in Motion Society receives $10,000 to create a summer camp aimed at elementary school-aged children in the area. One of the society’s objectives is to create spaces for children to be active and healthy. Camp leaders will be high school and post-secondary students, providing them with employment opportunities.

These are six 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.