Canada and British Columbia invest in local infrastructure to help build community connections in Northern B.C
Smithers, British Columbia, August 3, 2021— The governments of Canada and British Columbia continue to invest in infrastructure during this unprecedented time to meet the needs of communities across the province, enhance quality of life, and help recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood—Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Josie Osborne, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, announced funding for nine local infrastructure projects in Northern B.C. They were accompanied by the Honourable Nathan Cullen, Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Member of Legislative Assembly for Stikine, Chief Annie Howard of the Gitsegukla Band, and Chief Councillor Calvin Morven of Gitlaxt'aamiks Village.
Among the projects announced today, the Gitsegukla First Nation will retrofit its community hall kitchen to help deliver food programs to the elementary school’s students and staff, facilitate the teaching of traditional cooking methods, and supply backup power during outages to keep freezers running and food safe. Once completed, the project will increase food security in the area and help preserve cultural practices.
The Nisga’a Village of Gitlaxt'aamiks will build approximately 475 meters of concrete sidewalk along Skateen Drive, the main road in the village. The sidewalk will provide safe passage for pedestrians walking between the Gitlaxt’aamiks Village Government building and the local school.
The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are investing over $5.7 million in the nine projects announced today through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream. Canada is contributing over $5.1 million, and B.C. is contributing over $615,000.
“Today’s announcement of $5.1 million from the federal government to upgrade key local infrastructure in municipalities and Indigenous communities across Northern B.C. will help support local economies at a time when it is needed most. These projects will upgrade important community infrastructure, such as administration buildings, arenas and a community kitchen, as well as improve active transportation options.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Together with B.C., we are investing in local infrastructure that will provide safe cultural and recreational spaces for residents in Northern B.C. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates good jobs across Canada, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood—Port Kells
“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 Northern B.C., 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
“I’ve talked to the recipients of each of these critical investments from the provincial and federal governments and to a person and organization they were thrilled to hear the news. Each in their own ways, from a new community kitchen to a safe walking and biking trail connecting our communities, they will have a positive impact on our region for years and years to come.”
The Honourable Nathan Cullen, Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Member of Legislative Assembly for Stikine
“The Gitsegukla Community Kitchen will be a place that brings our community together to share meals, celebrate and embrace our culture. We are creating a space for our youth and other community members to learn traditional methods of cooking and food preparation, ensuring that these cultural traditions live on throughout the generations. The upgrades also support our elementary school breakfast and lunch programs, providing nutritious food to our students and staff – allowing them to focus on learning.”
Annie Howard, Chief of Gitsegukla First Nation
“Our community has no sidewalks causing pedestrians to walk on the road which is hazardous during the winter months, this has always been very concerning with our school children who walk to and from school. This funding will enhance the standards of the roadways in the community of Gitlaxt’amiks and improve the health and safety issues for our school children and community members.”
Calvin Morven, Chief Councillor of Gitlaxt'aamiks Village
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.
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
British Columbia’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs
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