The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and the Tahltan First Nation are being awarded more than $219,000 for three projects under the special circumstance provision of the BC Rural Dividend.
“We’re aware that some rural communities are facing difficulties in the aftermath of severe wildfires,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We have been working to prioritize certain project applications to help Indigenous and rural communities ensure they remain healthy and economically viable places to live and raise families.”
- The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is being awarded $79,231 to improve lighting on the Omineca Ski Club Trail. This project will replace existing lights with LED bulbs, as well as provide lighting for an additional 800 metres of recreational trail.
- The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is also being awarded $53,323 to develop a new regional economic development strategy. The project will outline steps that are needed to implement the strategy and includes training and strategy development sessions for directors and department heads.
- The Tahltan Band Council is being awarded $86,520 to conduct a post-wildfire economic development assessment for Telegraph Creek. The project will assess the current economic state of the community and identify the feasibility of potential projects that could create jobs and stimulate economic development in the area.
“The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is very pleased to receive this Rural Dividend grant. It will assist our recovery efforts in the wake of 2018’s fire season and support the region to be more resilient and responsive should further events occur,” said Gerry Thiessen, mayor of Vanderhoof and board chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. “We are also excited to work with Omineca Ski Club to improve and expand its lit trail system. Thanks to the Province for its commitment to providing timely, responsive funding opportunities for communities experiencing disasters.”
“In the aftermath of the firestorm of 2018, it is very important to seek a way forward and maximize our opportunities for economic development,” said Tahltan Band Council Chief Rick McLean. “This funding will help us with the rebuilding of our local economy.”
- In Budget 2019, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million-per-year Rural Dividend to 2021-22.
- More than $4.6 million has been awarded under special circumstances throughout the province from 2018-19 funding.
- Almost $19 million in 153 single applicant and partnership project grants are being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the Rural Dividend Program.
- In January 2019, the Province also provided $673,124 in project development grants to 68 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations around B.C.
- The Rural Dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which commits to supporting rural communities to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies.
Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako: https://www.rdbn.bc.ca/
Tahltan Band Council: http://tahltan.ca/
BC Rural Dividend: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend