Residents from three Thompson Okanagan communities will benefit from new and improved pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.
The Province’s Active Transportation Grants program is helping rebuild British Columbia’s economy out of the COVID-19 pandemic and meeting CleanBC climate goals.
“People throughout B.C. have a real appetite for safe, alternative ways of getting around,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “One way to restart our provincial economy is to work with municipalities and Indigenous communities to support new active transportation projects.
“It has been just a year since our government launched our provincial active transportation strategy, Move. Commute. Connect. The funding we are providing will make it easier for people to connect and interact in their community, address the issues of climate change and congestion, and help with people’s physical and mental well-being.”
The B.C. Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program provides Indigenous governments, municipalities and regional districts with financial support to build new infrastructure and make improvements to existing networks. The program supports goals set out in the Province’s CleanBC plan, as well as Move. Commute. Connect. – B.C.’s strategy for cleaner, more active transportation. Together, these programs help British Columbia meet climate action targets that reduce B.C.'s carbon footprint and improve air quality for all residents.
“These funds will allow Westbank First Nation (WFN) to continue to build upon our priority of promoting a safe and healthy community for our Members, residents and visitors,” said Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson. “WFN has also committed to working towards lessening our carbon footprint as a community; creating more safe and updated pathways for alternative transportation will help move us towards that goal.”
Over $1.4 million in Active Transportation Program Grants have been awarded for the following 2020-21 projects:
- Kelowna is approved to receive $500,000 to extend the Ethel Active Transportation Corridor with new protected bike lanes.
- Lake Country is approved to receive $401,880 for the Bottom Wood Lake Road Project that will provide active transportation improvements to the new H.S. Grenda Middle school.
- Westbank First Nation is approved to receive $500,000 for the Old Okanagan Highway/Louie Drive Sidewalk, which includes new sidewalks, bike lanes and will add additional lighting to increase safety.
The program also supports the development of community network plans for future active transportation infrastructure that aligns with the B.C. Active Transportation Design Guide. Various communities in the Thompson Okanagan will also benefit from an additional $56,525 in funding from the Active Transportation Network Planning Grant. The Bridge River Indian Band (Xwisten), Spallumcheen (Splats’in) First Nation and Thompson-Nicola Regional District (Blue River) are approved to receive this funding to develop active transportation network plans that may be considered for future infrastructure funding.
Approved projects may include safety improvements to sidewalks, improved lighting along pathways, multi-use and protected travel lanes, and other amenities that connect people to public transit, downtown cores and schools. Projects receiving funding strengthen Indigenous initiatives, land use planning and have the potential to generate tourism and other economic benefits.
CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End –
“Over a year ago, Minister Trevena asked me to lead the consultations on our made-in-B.C. active transportation strategy, Move. Commute. Connect. I advocate for strong investments in safe bike routes, walking paths and other active transportation investments because when you give people more affordable, safe, clean and efficient ways to get around, you get better communities and happier, healthier people. It’s also a foundational part of our government’s plan to make life better for British Columbians. Investments through this grant program will help meet the needs of urban and rural communities, so people of all ages and abilities can benefit from better connections between neighbourhoods, transit stations and town centres."
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“People across British Columbia are looking for cleaner, healthier ways to move around in their communities using safe, accessible infrastructure. Our CleanBC active transportation strategy is helping people of all ages and abilities find cleaner, more affordable modes of transportation that support liveable, connected neighbourhoods.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, has provided direction on physical distancing relating to going outside during the time of COVID-19. Henry has said that playgrounds, bike trails and running routes can be safely used as long as people limit gatherings to small numbers, avoid physical contact as much as possible, practise proper hand hygiene and stay home when sick.
Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant Program: www.gov.bc.ca/activetransportationgrant
Move. Commute. Connect. – B.C.’s Active Transportation Strategy: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/active/
British Columbia Active Transportation Design Guide: www.gov.bc.ca/Activetransportationdesignguide
For a backgrounder detailing the 2020-21 Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants provincewide, visit: