Canada and British Columbia invest in local infrastructure to help build community connections in the Okanagan-Kootenay Region

News release

Hedley, British Columbia, July 15, 2021 — The governments of Canada and British Columbia continue to invest in infrastructure during this extraordinary time to meet the needs of communities across the province, enhance quality of life, and address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Today, Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Josie Osborne, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, announced funding for 27 local infrastructure projects in the Okanagan-Kootenay Region. They were accompanied by Roly Russell, British Columbia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development and Member of Legislative Assembly for Boundary-Similkameen, Mike Allison, Councillor of the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, Her Worship Suzan Hewat, Mayor of Kaslo, and Sadie Hunter, Kamloops City Councillor.

Among the projects approved today, the Upper Similkameen Indian Band will restore the Chuchuwayha Community Hall and increase indoor space to facilitate gatherings for cultural events and traditions. This hall will also include an area for food preparation and for youth to socially gather in a safe and welcoming space.

The City of Kamloops will offer residents and visitors an additional active transportation route by completing its north-south cycling and multi-use pathways, connecting to parks and the hospital. Also included in this project are new crosswalks, bus shelters, and stormwater catch basins as well as modifications to traffic signals to accommodate the pathways.  

At the Kaslo and District Arena, the aging fire prevention system will be upgraded as will the electrical wiring to accommodate a new Fortis transformer, and the ice plant condensers will also be replaced. The Arena is the only ice arena serving the Village of Kaslo and immediate surroundings and is also a designated Emergency Reception Centre during forest fire and mudslide seasons, and extended power outages.

The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are investing over $24.5 million in the 27 projects announced today through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream. Canada is contributing over $20.8 million, and B.C. is contributing almost $3.7 million. Federal and provincial funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups. 


“Today’s announcement of over $20.8 million from the federal government to upgrade key local infrastructure in municipalities and Indigenous communities across the Okanagan-Kootenay Region will help support local economies at a time when it is needed most. Among other benefits, these projects will upgrade community buildings as well as create cycling and multi-purpose pathways, which will enhance community connections and offer residents and visitors more options to commute and stay active.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Together with B.C., we are investing in local infrastructure such as the Elkford Active Transportation project that will provide additional, safe recreational spaces for everyone’s enjoyment in the Okanagan-Kootenay region. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates good jobs across Canada, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“By investing in welcoming, healthy and connected communities, we are working to make people’s lives better as we emerge from the pandemic. These infrastructure projects we’re launching with our local and federal partners will bring a multitude of benefits to communities and people in the Okanagan and Kootenay regions, creating jobs, improving community services and helping everyone move through restart toward a strong recovery from the pandemic.”

The Honourable Josie Osborne, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs 

“People across British Columbia have done a lot to keep one another safe through the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are now in a position to get to work on our recovery and build back even better. Communities can start that recovery with important infrastructure projects like the USIB’s Chuchwayha Community Hall. These projects will provide local jobs and begin the renewal that we’re all excited to see.”

Roly Russell, British Columbia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development and Member of Legislative Assembly for Boundary-Similkameen

“This is not just another infrastructure project. For us, the Chuchuwayha Hall restoration is about bringing our community together under one roof, creating a space for our Elders to prepare food, and providing a safe place for our youth to gather socially. Chuchuwayha is a place where we will welcome our neighbours and share our culture. We are very grateful for the CVRIS grant opportunity.”

Chief & Council, Upper Similkameen Indian Band

“The Kaslo and District Arena was built in 1975 by volunteers and has been run by a volunteer board ever since. We would not have such a wonderful facility in our little village without the efforts of these dedicated people and the support of our community. The Village of Kaslo is proud of them and so happy that we can contribute to this major capital upgrade thanks to this CVRIS grant opportunity. Our arena is the hub for winter activities, events, and tournaments. Over the years the facility has seen hockey players young and old participate as well as having had a very active figure skating group. We look forward to this renewal and to welcoming everyone back to the arena this winter knowing it will safely continue to serve the Kaslo area for years to come.”

Suzan Hewat, Mayor of Kaslo

“The COVID-19 pandemic has really emphasized how important access to outdoor spaces really is. Building an accessible bike network connecting multi-use pathways to neighbourhoods will enable a safer means for our residents and visitors to get outdoors, be active, and get around our city. We’re grateful for the CVRIS grant for helping bring this project to fruition much sooner than would have been otherwise been possible.”

Sadie Hunter, Councillor, City of Kamloops

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • Across B.C., the Government of Canada has invested more than $4.4 billion in over 580 infrastructure projects under the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.

  • The Province is investing $3.6 billion over a 10-year period under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program for British Columbia’s infrastructure initiatives.

  • To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream has been added to the over $33-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund pandemic-resilient infrastructure. Existing program streams have also been adapted to include more eligible project categories.

  • Under the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream, the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects is up to 80%, with the Province adding 20% to achieve 100% funding. The federal government is providing up to 100% funding in the territories and for projects intended for Indigenous communities.

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Emelyana Titarenko
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Melanie Kilpatrick
Media Relations
B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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