The B.C. government is allocating $10 million of federal funding to help create jobs and diversify the economies of communities in the Mackenzie and Peace regions.
The Intergovernmental Partnership Agreement for the Conservation of the Central Group of the Southern Mountain Caribou (Partnership Agreement) was signed in February 2020 and includes commitments to help caribou populations recover and protect more than 700,000 hectares of important caribou habitat in northeastern B.C.
“Our government is committed to caribou conservation, and we continue to work with our partners to protect species at risk and to protect and enhance B.C.'s biodiversity,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship. “At the same time, we also recognize the need to mitigate potential economic impacts in areas covered by the Partnership Agreement. The job-creation funding provided by the South Peace Mackenzie Economic Diversification and Stabilization Trust is an important step forward in achieving that goal.”
As part of the Partnership Agreement process, the federal government provided $10 million to the B.C. government to help create jobs and alleviate potential impacts in the Peace Region, especially within 100 kilometres of the communities of Mackenzie, Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge. The fund will grow these local economies while showcasing the province’s natural treasures.
“Our government is committed to protecting nature and halting and reversing biodiversity loss. All actions, national or regional, are critical to the protection of caribou,” said Steven Guilbeault, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “The 2020 Partnership Agreement was an important part of the conservation plan for the southern mountain caribou, and its implementation can stimulate innovation, have positive economic effects and be compatible with regional economic development. This community trust is an additional tool to help achieve those outcomes.”
The B.C. government has set up a system to distribute the money to eligible applicants through the South Peace Mackenzie Economic Diversification and Stabilization Trust.
How it works:
- The trust will be administered by an independent trustee with input from two regional advisory committees.
- These committees will be composed of representatives from local communities (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) and key regional stakeholders.
- The regional advisory committees will review job-creation proposals and recommend projects for funding approval by the trustee.
- In most cases, the maximum grant for any project will be $250,000.
More information about the South Peace Mackenzie Economic Diversification and Stabilization Trust, including an application form and an FAQ about various aspects of the program, is available on the website at: http://spmtrust.ca