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Province takes action to strengthen rural southern Interior economies

May 2, 2024 at 12:44 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations in the southern Interior region of B.C. are receiving funding to promote economic diversification, clean-economy opportunities and infrastructure development.

“We are giving rural communities the tools they need to diversify and grow their economies to create more opportunities and jobs for people where they live,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “Listening to and working alongside passionate, forward-thinking community leaders is helping us deliver impactful projects for people and their communities.”   

The Government of B.C. is contributing as much as $33 million across rural areas of the province through the second intake of the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP). Communities in the southern Interior region will be receiving as much as $4 million from REDIP for 15 approved projects to help strengthen local economies.

One approved project will see the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS) First Nation receive $1 million to advance its Lot 164 commercial complex. Already home to a TteS-owned-and-operated grocery store that opened to the public in 2023, the Nation is continuing to develop the infrastructure needed for the commercial complex to include a new gas bar and restaurant, a pharmacy, office spaces, and other retail opportunities and services. The TteS received $100,000 through the first intake of REDIP to increase internal capacity of their economic development corporation and enhance the ability to act on economic opportunities.

“We are grateful for the additional funding that the Province of British Columbia has confirmed today,” said Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc. “Our goal is to responsibly develop our lands in a forward-thinking and sustainable way, while establishing a financial legacy and supporting our community’s journey toward economic self-determination. This funding will allow us to further develop Chief Louis Crossing, creating a space that can welcome businesses and entrepreneurs from the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc and surrounding communities.”

In its first two years, REDIP will see as much as $99 million invested in more than 300 projects in rural B.C. An additional amount to a maximum of $33 million will be available through the third intake of REDIP, with applications expected to open in July 2024 and remain open until the end of October 2024.

Clean and Competitive: A Blueprint for B.C.’s Industrial Future lays out the Province’s work to drive new investment, create new jobs and seize new opportunities in growing clean-energy and sustainable industries. Leveraging B.C.’s strengths to create good jobs and opportunities in every community will improve quality of life while strengthening B.C.’s diverse economy.

Quote:

Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development –

“Leaders from rural communities have told us their priorities and identified the projects they see as the most important for building strong, resilient local economies in every corner of B.C. Working in partnership, we’re able to support them in bringing their visions to life and providing more opportunities to their residents.”

Quick Facts:

  • Communities can receive REDIP funding through three streams:
    • Economic diversification – Projects that plan or implement programs, services and infrastructure to support economic development and diversification in communities with populations of 25,000 or less (maximum funding: $1 million).
    • Economic capacity – Projects that build local capacity and improve the ability to support economic development and diversification in communities with populations of 2,500 or fewer (maximum funding: $100,000).
    • Forest-impact transition – Projects that support economic recovery and diversification in affected forest-dependent communities (maximum funding: $500,000).

Learn More:

To learn more about the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program and see a list of approved intake-two projects, visit: https://gov.bc.ca/redip

To learn more about Clean and Competitive: A Blueprint for B.C.’s Industrial Future, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Clean_and_Competitive.pdf

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