Province supports projects that strengthen northern communities
People in rapidly growing northern communities will benefit from provincial funding for eight new projects, including those that build local capacity in child care, mental-health and substance-use support, and employment services.
“Communities in B.C.’s North will be enhanced from the initiatives that this funding supports,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Organizations receiving funding will work to increase services in their communities, such as improving access to daycare, a community gathering space, housing and more. I encourage all eligible local governments, non-profit organizations and First Nations to apply for this funding.”
Eight projects are receiving $2.1 million through the Northern Healthy Communities Fund, which is supported by the B.C. government and administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Examples of new projects include:
- first-aid certification workshops at the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre in Smithers to help people improve their job prospects and also hiring a consultant to advance the Smithers Child Care Plan;
- new housing, including transitional and affordable units for women, children and youth who have experienced or are at risk of violence, and a 24-hour child care centre with 60 spaces for children in the District of Kitimat; and
- a permanent Foundry Centre in Terrace to help with mental-health care, substance-use supports, primary care and social services for young people and their parents or caregivers.
“These organizations are diligently working to support their communities in innovative ways that will result in meaningful change for those who live and work in the region,” said Joel McKay, chief executive officer, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “Child care projects in Kitimat, Smithers and Mackenzie will benefit entire families by allowing parents to work, pursue education, receive training and participate in their community, while knowing that their children are being taken care of by qualified professionals.”
Eligible local governments, non-profit organizations and First Nations that provide supports and services to people in communities near the LNG Canada and Coastal Gaslink projects can apply for project funding through the Northern Healthy Communities Fund.
“Terrace and District Community Services Society is very grateful to the Northern Development Initiative Trust for awarding our charity a grant for $500,000 to be used to bring a permanent Foundry Terrace centre to our community,” said Michael McFetridge, executive director, Terrace and District Community Services Society. “This is a major project for our region and community to enhance and increase the health and wellness resources available for youth and their families.”
Since its beginning, the Northern Healthy Communities Fund has supported 54 projects with a total of more than $7.1 million. The program is accepting applications for the next funding intakes. New projects will be announced until 2026.
Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions –
“Young people in the North have been dealing with immense pressures, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic-drug crisis and climate emergencies. Through the Northern Healthy Communities Fund, Foundry Terrace is providing vital youth services and is getting closer to opening the doors of its permanent location where youth will have a safe space to access mental-health and substance-use supports.”
Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine –
“Significant development in the North, like in my home community of Smithers, is bringing many opportunities to the people here. Through this funding, we’re ensuring that local governments, non-profit organizations and First Nations are supported to help communities thrive.”
Annette Morgan, executive director, Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society –
“The Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to support first aid training that will allow us to provide a new approach toward training requirements that support many services and programs for organizations compliance. Providing increased resources enhances the lifestyle of many of our community members and allows us to work together for healthier communities.”
- Northern Healthy Communities’ funding is available through two streams:
- projects that help community organizations increase capacity for existing services or develop and deliver new programs; and
- capital projects that help upgrade, improve or expand community service facilities.
- Together, LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink will create as many as 10,000 jobs during the construction of an export facility and connecting pipeline.
- The LNG Canada project is expected to produce 350 to 450 permanent jobs, with the initial startup and commissioning of the export facility scheduled for mid-decade.
- Since 2019, the B.C. government has also provided $150 million in grants through the Northern Capital and Planning Grant to help local governments with planning and infrastructure improvements.
The full list of projects from the seventh intake is available here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NHCF_7th_intake_2022.pdf
For information about the Northern Development Initiative Trust, visit: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/