Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $1.76 million for 11 projects in northern B.C., Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, announced today.
The projects include Aboriginal entrepreneurial development in the far north, tourism marketing in the Kitimat-Stikine and Bulkley-Nechako regional districts, a feasibility study for a micro-hydro project near Atlin and studies to support a transloading facility at Terrace.
“Government is following through on its commitment to help rural communities navigate changes that have impacted local economies, by supporting local business development and creating new partnerships to promote shared prosperity,” Donaldson said. “These rural dividend grants are bringing positive change to rural communities throughout B.C.”
The funding is part of nearly $8 million in 58 project grants being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the BC Rural Dividend Program. Rural dividend grants help fund projects that that will stabilize rural economies. Grants can be up to $100,000 each, or up to $500,000 each for partnership projects.
Earlier this month, nearly $5 million was granted to fund 30 projects in wildfire-impacted areas and two communities that were affected by the shutdown of local mills.
The rural dividend encourages economic diversification, innovation, sustainability and collaboration, and recognizes the diverse needs of individual communities.
As part of Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million-per-year rural dividend to 2020-21. The rural dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which is committed to making rural communities more resilient.
BC Rural Dividend Program: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
A backgrounder follows.