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BC Government: Rural development funding boosts community resiliency

by ahnationtalk on August 18, 202268 Views

Aug. 18, 2022

VICTORIA – A series of rural development grants are helping build stronger local economies and boosting opportunities for people in many parts of rural B.C. to find good, local jobs.

“Investing in people and communities is a key objective of the StrongerBC Economic Plan,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “Ensuring communities have the tools they need to adapt and grow allows jobs and economic opportunities to flourish. With the help of rural development grants, we are providing communities with more resources to support their economic recovery and build a more sustainable economy for all British Columbians.”

The Province is providing more than $5 million to Indigenous organizations and local governments in rural communities throughout B.C., including communities affected by the cumulative impacts of COVID-19, floods, fires and extreme weather.

The grants will fund eight projects in rural communities throughout the province that support tourism, community revitalization and infrastructure upgrades.

“People throughout rural B.C. are working hard to create economies in which residents and their communities can thrive,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. “I’m happy to be part of a government that recognizes the importance and value of thriving and diverse rural communities, and I’m happy we’re able to help support these locally led projects. We will keep working with communities in every part of B.C. to build healthy, local economies that work for all of us.”

Through the grants, the Province is enabling communities to make decisions that benefit their residents. To help the Kanaka Bar Indian Band become more self-sufficient and food secure, the Province provided $1 million for the Upper Kanaka Community Resiliency Project, a community infrastructure and agriculture development initiative that will better support people in the region.

“Kanaka Bar Indian Band has been actively working toward restoring community self-sufficiency since 2016, with the goal of increasing our resilience to climate-change impacts,” said Janna Janzen, food self-sufficiency lead, Kanaka Bar Indian Band. “In 2018, our knowledge-keepers projected drier, hotter summers and wetter winters, and in 2021 these anticipated realities hit the community hard. With this funding, we are working to improve our food self-sufficiency by building a commercial greenhouse that will allow us to grow food year-round. We are also introducing a root cellar that uses traditional technology to store seeds and vegetables without reliance on electricity. Kʷukʷscémxʷ to the B.C. government for being a part of this important work.”

The Lytton First Nation has also received funding through the rural development grant program for the Yekm Food Hub, which supports local farmers and the people of Lytton. More than $550,000 from the B.C. government will contribute to the completion of the building’s exterior elements.

“The funding received has enabled the Lytton First Nation and Yekm Food Hub to work on making necessary purchases, such as a greenhouse, tractor and implements, irrigation pipes and the completion of the Yekm Food Hub building, as well as the addition of hydro poles, solar panels, a septic system and traditional signs,” said John Sam, economic development manager, Lytton First Nation. “The Lytton First Nation is extremely grateful for the funds received, as the band has endured another wildfire this summer. The completion of this project and the food hub building will be a step toward food self-sufficiency going forward.”

Building resilient communities is a key action of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, helping move British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone.

Learn More:

Learn more about the StrongerBC Economic Plan:

Six backgrounders follow.


Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705


Rural development grants awarded in the Kootenay economic region

Village of Canal Flats – Shore to Shore Pathway (Phase 2)

The Shore to Shore Pathway is a high-quality, non-motorized destination recreation trail. It connects the village of Canal Flats to the municipal beach on the Columbia Lake at Tilley Memorial Park.

The Shore to Shore Pathway will follow the footsteps of David Thompson who, in the 19th century, used the land where the village now stands as a portage site between the Kootenay River and Columbia Lake as he travelled in the territory of the Ktunaxa and Shuswap people.

The Village of Canal Flats has received $109,205 for the project.


Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705



Rural development grants awarded in the Vancouver Island/Coast economic region

Nuxalk Nation – Re-establishing the Bella Coola/Kimsquit Ooligan Grease Trail

In recent years, the Nuxalk Nation has been working to protect and enhance its stewardship of the Necleetsconnay watershed, which is home to culturally and traditionally significant resources for Nuxalk Nation. The Ooligan Grease Trail represents an essential means to economic recovery from COVID-19. The construction of the trail will create meaningful employment opportunities and directly support short- and long-term community economic development, including employment creation in:

  • ecotourism and guide outfitting;
  • small businesses in supplying traditional foods and resources to regional and international markets;
  • piloting the Nation’s off-grid tiny homes;
  • increasing access to fibre supplies for a bio-energy project; and
  • accelerating work on a proposed long-term hydropower project to replace diesel power.

The Nuxalk Nation has received $879,688 for the project.


Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705



Rural development grants awarded in the Mainland/Southwest economic region

Xaxli’p Development Corporation – Sobotka Ranch irrigation upgrades

Sobotka Ranch has an irrigation system that diverts water from the nearby Cinquefoil Creek, and much of the system is in poor condition and requires upgrades to ensure long-term viability.

The project will involve design and build upgrades to the existing system, including replacing the water main, assessing and upgrading the intake, and adding a filter and flow-meter assembly. The community is interested in developing viable agricultural operations on the property to provide employment and generate revenue.

Xaxli’p Development Corporation has completed planning work as part of the Agriculture Community Readiness project, supported by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (IAFSI) to explore soil capability, crop suitability and market opportunities, and to assess the irrigation needs and existing system at Sobotka Ranch.

The Xaxli’p Development Corporation has received $412,600 for the project.


Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705



Rural development grants awarded in the Thompson Okanagan economic region

District of Barriere – Louis Creek water project

The Louis Creek water project will complete the potable water system at Louis Creek Industrial Park.

The project will involve the addition of a roof to the existing reservoir, completing the distribution system to the industrial park lots and adding a second water supply well. These works are required to eliminate the need for point-of-entry treatment, improve fire protection and meet the potable water demands as the Louis Creek Industrial Park expands. The completion of the potable water system will enable development of the remaining lots.

The District of Barriere has received $1 million for the project.

Lytton First Nation – Yekm Food Hub

Rural development funding for this project contributes to the completion of the exterior finishings for the Yekm Food Hub. Features include paving an entryway, installing an electrical pole and powerline, constructing a septic field, purchasing and installing solar panels, purchasing and installing signage (general, interpretive and cultural/geographical), and adding an artist’s mural to the outside of the building.

The Lytton First Nation has received $582,282 for the project.

Upper Kanaka Bar – Community Resiliency Project

The Upper Kanaka Community Resiliency Project is a community infrastructure and agriculture development initiative that will see the community advance its self-sufficiency, food security, climate resiliency and shared prosperity goals.

The project has four components:

  • Project area A, known as the Gathering Place, is an area dedicated to holistic health and wellness. The covered court will act as an auditorium for the community to gather for presentations, meetings and events while following COVID-19 protocols. With the community building and playground adjacent, children can play and learn while their parents are nearby.
  • Project area B is a cultural resiliency centre that will include cellars, a greenhouse and a pilot aquaculture project.
  • Project area C will be an animal shelter to protect livestock from extreme heat and cold.
  • Project area E was cleared and terraced to make space for a new, larger food forest. The food forest will require fencing to keep deer, bears and other wildlife out and to maintain automated irrigation systems.

The Kanaka Bar Indian Band has received $1 million for the project.


Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705



Rural development grants awarded in the North Coast economic region

City of Prince Rupert – CN Heritage Rail Station rehabilitation project

The City of Prince Rupert is working to redevelop its waterfront area around the CN Heritage Railway Station and Rotary Waterfront Park, with the historic station serving as a focal point.

The project will be a flagship for community renewal in a central waterfront location. Much of Prince Rupert’s waterfront is industrial, and the revitalized heritage rail space will improve the community’s limited access to the water.

The City of Prince Rupert has received $1 million for the project.


Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705



Rural development grants awarded in the Cariboo economic region

?Esdilagh First Nation – Class A abattoir planning

This project covers the planning portion of a multi-phase project for construction of an abattoir on ?Esdilagh East Side (Highway 97 south) to support the slaughter of up to 30 cattle per day and a greater number of smaller animals, including sheep and swine.

The planning work will involve hiring a consultant to develop the abattoir buisness plan and its design, explore food security and economic security, and conduct community engagement, including with local butchers and contruction companies familiar with Indigenous construction and design.

The ?Esdilagh First Nation has received $410,000 for the project.


Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705



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