More than $2 million from the province’s rural dividend fund is being invested for projects throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
Minister of State for Rural Economic Development and Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett joined Premier Christy Clark in Merritt on Friday to outline the Province’s three-pronged approach to build, strengthen, and diversify rural communities across the province.
Projects receiving funds in the Cariboo-Chilcotin:
- $500,000 for Williams Lake to develop a business plan and five-year strategic development plan for Stampede Heritage Park
- $300,000 for the District of 100 Mile House to test and apply technologies for processing locally-produced biomass ash and to trial the products produced
- $96,000 for the Cariboo Regional District to develop and implement a community economic development program for the North and Central Cariboo sub-regions.
Local First Nations will also receive funds through the announcement as well:
- Yunesit’in First Nation will receive $100,000 to construct a First Nation-designed house that will be supported as a viable concept for future homes in the community and surrounding area.
- The Tsilhqot’in National Government will receive $498,000 toward a $830,000-project to develop a post and rail mill at the former River West mill site on Highway 20
- The Toosey Indian Band will receive $369,000 for a pilot project to train 12 community members to build solid timber homes.
“Creating the conditions for rural British Columbia to grow and thrive is a key priority for our government. Building on our Rural Advantages gives rural British Columbians the tools to shape their own future, and reflects the importance we place on the workers, families and businesses who reside in the rural areas of the province,” said Barnett.
Other highlights of the strategy which Barnett says will benefit the Cariboo-Chilcotin include:
- Continued investment in the Cariboo Connector with a total commitment of $133 million over three years.
- $270 million over three years under the Side Roads Program to support rural road infrastructure throughout the province, including upgrades to gravel roads near 100 Mile House and Williams Lake, providing direct jobs and improving transportation infrastructure.
- $15 million over three years for trades equipment in B.C. secondary schools so students can explore the trades earlier in their education, including $99,195 in Cariboo-Chilcotin.
- $10 million to support new land-management initiatives throughout B.C. and the Cariboo, including range-fencing repairs and multi-year invasive-plant management projects with partners such as regional weed committees, the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association and Ducks Unlimited.
- An increase to $15 million from $9.75 million for the Bred Heifer Association Loan Guarantee and the Feeder Association Loan Guarantee so ranchers in the Cariboo can buy additional cattle.
- An additional $4-million investment throughout the province and communities in the Cariboo over two years in the Provincial Livestock Fencing Program to help B.C. ranchers and farmers keep their livestock safe and businesses thriving.
- $159,161 in Connecting British Columbia Grant Funding for ABC Communications to expand and enhance Internet access in the Williams Lake area.
- $310,971 in Connecting British Columbia Grant Funding for ABC Communications to expand and enhance Internet access in the 100 Mile House area.
- Rebates of up to $3,500 through a new Livestock Tag Reader Rebate Program so small ranchers in the Cariboo can purchase equipment to enhance food safety and food traceability protocols.