An emergency resolution on the rural dividend fund passed Friday morning at the union of bc municipalities convention in Vancouver.
“It was submitted by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary requesting that the Province reconsider their decision to reallocate funding from the Rural Dividend Program and the reason they did was in order to maintain continuous delivery of the Rural Development Program to communities who have since 2016 utilized this program for economic development,” said Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett.
“It’s very interesting that an emergency resolution was put on the floor and it has been unanimously passed. That is the importance of this Rural Dividend Fund.”
The Provincial Government announced earlier this week it was suspending the Rural Dividend Fund and reallocating the money to help pay for the 69 million dollar package to assist displaced forestry workers in rural communities.
“I know this reallocation of funding is disappointing for many communities, but there has not been another industry in British Columbia that has experienced significant job loss of this nature – as forestry is the major employer in many Interior communities, we are reallocating these funds where they are most urgently needed,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“In budget 2018-19, our government extended the Rural Dividend Program until 2020-21, so there will be further application intake periods in the future,” Donaldson added.
“All currently submitted applications will be retained so that the good work done by applicants will not be lost and can be considered when the program is continued.