The Sugar Cane Development Corporation and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association will receive $100,000 each under the special circumstances provision of the BC Rural Dividend.
“We’re aware that some rural communities are facing difficulties in the aftermath of wildfire season and other challenges in the forest industry,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We’ve prioritized certain project applications to help First Nations and rural communities ensure they remain healthy and economically viable places to live and raise families.”
The Sugar Cane Development Corporation in 150 Mile House is getting $100,000 to implement a wildfire recovery plan for the Williams Lake Indian Band. This includes hiring a local business development manager, developing a post-wildfire community investment and attraction marketing plan, as well as purchasing equipment for the emergency operations centre.
“Sugar Cane Development Corporation is grateful for the support provided by the special circumstance grant through the BC Rural Dividend Program,” said Kirk Dressler, CEO, Sugar Cane Development Corporation. “Williams Lake Indian Band was profoundly affected by the 2017 wildfires, and like many communities and businesses, is struggling to recover. This grant will afford Williams Lake Indian Band’s primary economic development entity with the means to implement key elements of our wildfire recovery plan and to facilitate business growth, economic development and diversification.”
The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association in Williams Lake will receive $100,000 to implement tourism strategies identified in the destination development plans for the region. The project includes a collaborative tourism/resource road inventory and plan, skills training and a strategy to improve the accuracy of Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region business information, mapping and visuals on Google.
“On behalf of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, I am delighted to thank the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development for its financial support of our regional destination development project,” said Amy Thacker, CEO, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association. “This investment will help kick off implementation of key priorities identified in the 10-year destination development strategies and, in turn, support local recovery from the last wildfire seasons.”
In Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million per year Rural Dividend to 2020-21.
So far in 2018-19, including this funding, $3,801,294 have been awarded under special circumstances throughout the province. Final decisions on project applications from the fifth intake for single applicants (up to $100,000) and partnerships (up to $500,000) will be announced next month.
This month, the Province also provided $673,124 in project development grants to 68 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations around B.C.
The Rural Dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which is committed to supporting rural communities to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association: www.landwithoutlimits.com/
Williams Lake Indian Band: www.williamslakeband.ca/
Sugar Cane Development Corporation: www.biz.bcibic.ca/sugarcane-development-corporation
BC Rural Dividend: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend