Report lays out ideas for speeding up development approval process

Province invests in northwest economic development, healthy communities

The Province is further investing in B.C.’s North to support healthy community growth during major resource development and build infrastructure to meet the needs of people in the region.

“Northern B.C. is rich in natural resources, but its strongest asset is its people,” said Premier John Horgan. “We are proud to work in partnership with northern communities. These funds will help address the social and infrastructure needs that arise out of the many exciting economic developments underway in those communities. We are investing in northern jobs, roads and public services – and most importantly, in northern people.”

The Province is investing a total of $75 million through two programs:

  • The 2020 Northern Capital and Planning Grant provides $50 million directly to local governments to help address their infrastructure needs and as they prepare for major resource and economic development.
  • Another $25 million will be available to communities as they prepare for major economic development through the B.C. Northern Healthy Communities Fund, which will be administered through the Northern Development Initiative Trust. The fund will be available to local governments, First Nations and non-profits in the region to support local delivery of critical services, such as health and mental health care, housing and child care. 

“The need to invest in northern B.C.’s infrastructure and community services is vital, and this funding has a new and significant role to play in contributing to our province’s economic recovery, especially in light of COVID-19’s impacts on B.C.’s people, communities and economy,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance.

This funding is in addition to $100 million provided through the Northern Capital and Planning Grant to communities in the northwest in 2019. It is part of ongoing dialogue between the Province and B.C.’s northwest and north-central communities on how to support the region over the longer term.

“People are at the heart of strong, resilient communities and this funding is part of our continued commitment to invest in the hard-working people of the North,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We have been listening to northern communities about their need to be ready to seize the opportunities presented by expected growth and resource development. With this funding, they will be able to plan to tackle both the infrastructure and socio-economic needs their communities are facing.”  

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant and the B.C. Northern Healthy Communities Fund will contribute to a resilient B.C. economy and will complement the $1.5 billion set for economic stimulus as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan. 

Quick Facts:

  • Through the Northern Capital Planning Grant, eligible local governments can expect to receive the following based on their populations and base assessments:
    • Municipalities with more than 8,000 people will receive between $5.2 million and $6.6 million.
    • Municipalities with fewer than 8,000 people will receive between $300,000 and $3.7 million.
  • Regional districts will receive between $400,000 and $1.6 million.
  • The B.C. Northern Healthy Communities Fund will be distributed by the Northern Development Initiative Trust through an application process. 

For a backgrounder with what local leaders are saying about these grants, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/2020-Northern-Capital-Planning-Grants_BG.pdf


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