People in northern B.C. will have access to more services, including health-care supports and child care spaces, with an investment of more than $3 million from the Northern Healthy Communities Fund (NHCF).
Among the funding recipients is Coast Mountain Children Society, a not-for-profit organization providing care for infants, toddlers and school-age children in Terrace and Kitimat. Coast Mountain Children Society received $800,000 toward classroom renovations and staffing to create 52 new child care spots.
“Going back to work in the new year would not be possible without child care,” said Jeanette Madsen, a family doctor whose child will be starting daycare in 2024. “Unfortunately, it has restricted many parents in the region from returning to work when they would like to. When we learned we were pregnant, we were reaching out to daycares to be put on the waitlist, notifying them before even telling the news to our own family. We were relieved when we heard that we had a spot.”
The $3.2-million investment from the NHCF supports 12 projects, such as:
- an extension to the Dakelh First Nations Primary Care Centre;
- a new counselling office and counselling services in Prince George;
- increasing care for seniors to live independently at home in Terrace; and
- a new health and wellness centre for youth in Burns Lake.
“The Province is making sure people in northern B.C. benefit from the rapid economic growth in their communities,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Through the Northern Healthy Communities Fund, my ministry is working with our partners to create more child care spaces, health-care supports and other services that will ensure our communities are great places to live for years to come.”
The NHCF supports initiatives that assist healthy, sustainable and resilient communities facing rapid and large-scale economic development and the associated need for enhanced social-service readiness.
“From health care to child care, and from food security to bylaw enforcement, we are working together with our partners so that people throughout the North build good lives,” said Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine. “More than $3 million will help local governments, First Nations and non-profit organizations keep up with the growth our communities are experiencing right now.”
The NHCF is administered by the Northern Development Initiatives Trust, an independent non-profit corporation that stimulates economic growth through investments in grassroots, community-led projects.
"We are pleased to announce the approval of several impactful projects under the Northern Healthy Communities Fund,” said Joel McKay, chief executive officer, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “These initiatives represent a significant step forward in enhancing the well-being of our communities in the northern region and reflect our commitment to fostering a healthier, more prosperous future for all.”
Since its beginning, the NHCF has supported approximately 100 projects with a total of $18.6 million. Eligible local governments, First Nations and non-profit organizations in growing communities near the LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink projects can apply for project funding. The program is accepting applications for the next funding intakes.
- NHCF funding is available through two streams:
- capacity-building projects that help community organizations to increase capacity for existing services or develop and deliver new programs; and
- capital projects that help upgrade, improve or expand facilities that help those in communities delivering service.
The full list of projects from the 11th intake is available here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NHCF_Oct2023_ApprovedProjects.pdf
For more information about the Northern Development Initiative Trust, visit: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/