New investments in community infrastructure by the governments of Canada and British Columbia will benefit Island communities while also supporting economic recovery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic by getting projects under way and meeting communities’ needs as they restart their economies.
These investments will play a key role in strengthening local economies, and helping ensure all British Columbians have access to the services and cultural networks they need to build resilient communities.
Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development; and the Honourable Scott Fraser, Member of Legislative Assembly for Mid Island-Pacific Rim, on behalf of the Honourable Selina Robinson, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced funding for 22 projects on the Island under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan.
The Huu-ay-aht First Nations will build a new culture centre to provide the community with a language training room, a kitchen, dedicated areas for the production and the sale of arts and crafts, multi-purpose rooms, and washrooms. The facility will also have a multi-purpose field with bleachers for soccer and softball, and a presentation stage with stands for outdoor cultural events.
The Town of Ladysmith will build a new Arts and Heritage Hub at the site of the town’s historic machinery shop to showcase local culture and history, and highlight the town’s positive relationship with the Stz’uminus First Nation. This hub is part of a waterfront redevelopment plan to support community development and will provide space for art exhibitions, performances and special events.
Among the other projects receiving this funding are improvements to community centres, health centres, storm water management, drinking water and wastewater facilities, cultural facilities and social support hubs.
The Government of Canada is contributing more than $33.2 million, the Government of British Columbia is contributing over $8.7 million and the individual applicants are contributing more than $12.2 million to these projects through the Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS), and the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) of the Investing in Canada Plan.
More than $23.2 million of the federal and provincial funding is going to eight projects in Indigenous communities.
Further announcements of infrastructure investments will follow in the coming months as Canada and British Columbia work together to support jobs, improve our communities, and safely and sustainably restore economic growth.
“Investing in community centres, recreation and cultural facilities means children and youth will have a safe place to play and learn, seniors have a place to meet, our clubs and groups can have a home. These facilities build strong, dynamic communities where people want to put down roots and do business. Together with the Province, we are supporting projects that will create jobs and bring residents new facilities and programs that will make a real difference in people’s lives for years to come.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“It is more important than ever to support rural and Indigenous communities. The projects we’re announcing today will help smaller communities on the Island rally now while supporting growth, helping preserve local heritage, and enhancing residents’ quality of life.”
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
“In partnership with the federal government, we are investing in infrastructure that will strengthen communities here on the island and across B.C. The construction of the Ahtaapq Creek Hydropower Project will support the Hesquiaht First Nation in their transition to cleaner energy sources and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m also pleased to see funding going towards several community centres in my constituency. People need public spaces and services to support their health and well-being now more than ever.”
The Honourable Scott Fraser, Member of Legislative Assembly for Mid Island-Pacific Rim, on behalf of the Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
- $25.3 billion of this funding is supporting social infrastructure in Canadian communities.
- $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities like facilities to support food security, local access roads and enhanced broadband connectivity. In addition, $400 million is being delivered through the Arctic Energy Fund to advance energy security in the territories.
- The governments of Canada and British Columbia are providing more than $134 million for the first intake of project applications under the Community Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS) of the Investing in Canada Plan, and more than $94 million for the first intake under the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS).
- The second intake for both streams was announced on June 25, 2020 with the following funding available from the governments of Canada and British Columbia cominbed:
- CCRIS: up to $100.6 million
- RNIS: up to $58.7 million
- Information about the programs and applications can be found on the B.C. government website: www.gov.bc.ca/Investing-in-Canada-Infrastructure-Program
Backgrounder: Canada and British Columbia fund infrastructure projects on the Island to create jobs and strengthen communities: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/7-3-20_island_BG.pdf
Province opens applications for infrastructure funding to build stronger communities: https://news.gov.bc.ca/22503
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Government of Canada takes action on COVID-19: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas-reponse/government-canada-takes-action-covid-19.html
Investing in Canada Plan Project Map: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map
Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/investments-2002-investissements/bc-eng.html
Government of British Columbia’s Infrastructure program:
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
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Web: Infrastructure Canada (infrastructure.gc.ca)