The Cariboo will be receiving funding from the BC Rural Dividend Fund to support ongoing recovery from the 2017 wildfires.
The Sugar Cane Development Corporation with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association will be each receiving $100,000 under the special circumstances provision.
Economic Development Officer for the Williams Lake Band and CEO for Sugar Cane Development Corporation, Kirk Dressler says they were profoundly affected by the 2017 wildfires.
“From an economic perspective, we’re critically concerned about keeping our economic development and energy going, attracting people to Wiliams Lake, attracting businesses to Williams Lake, and ensuring that we continue to have a strong economy,” Dressler said.
“This money is intended to fuel those efforts to continue with economic development in the region.”
The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association plans to implement tourism strategies identified in the destination development plans for the region. The project includes a collaborative tourism/resource road inventory and plan, skills training and a strategy to improve the accuracy of Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region business information, mapping and visuals on Google.
“This investment will help kick off implementation of key priorities identified in the 10-year destination development strategies and, in turn, support local recovery from the last wildfire seasons,” CCTA CEO, Amy Thacker said in a news release.
Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson said government is aware that some rural communities are facing difficulties in the aftermath of wildfire season and other challenges in the forest industry.
Also receiving funds under the special circumstances provision of the BC Rural Dividend is the Village of Clinton. $67,000 will be used to develop a parks and recreation master plan that will provide information and direction on recreation facilities, parks, trails, and open spaces.
(Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include the Village of Clinton).