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Ottawa commits $49.9 million to northern B.C. infrastructure projects

Ottawa commits $49.9 million to northern B.C. infrastructure projects
CITY OF PRINCE GEORGE — A photo shows downtown Prince George, B.C. The city’s aquatic centre project has been greenlit as part of an effort to bolster northern cultural infrastructure.

VICTORIA — Government officials have announced new infrastructure investments for B.C.’s northern communities to stimulate the economy as COVID-19 restrictions are loosened.

Twenty-four projects in northern British Columbia will get a funding boost under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan.

“Investing in community, recreation and cultural infrastructure promotes people’s health and well-being and builds strong dynamic communities where people want to put down roots and do business,” said Patrick Weiler, member of parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country, in a statement.

The Saulteau First Nations will build a new community centre to provide residents with a gathering space and fitness centre. The Community Cultural Building will include an art space, kitchen and meeting rooms as well as a climbing wall, bleachers and washrooms, increasing access to fitness programs, courses, training, cultural programs and social activities for the community.

The Taku River Tlingit First Nation will build a new wastewater treatment facility to serve their community and the surrounding Atlin area. The new facility will replace a lagoon that was built in the 1980s and will help to protect the surrounding environment.

Among other projects receiving this funding are improvements to community centres, health centres, stormwater management systems, drinking water and wastewater facilities, cultural facilities and social support hubs. 

“I am pleased to join with the federal government to invest in people and their communities,” said Selina Robinson, B.C. minister of municipal affairs and housing. “We know that these investments in public spaces, in all regions of the province, will strengthen relationships and promote mental and physical well-being. Working with local governments, Indigenous communities and other partners means that we can continue to deliver the services people count on and need right here in British Columbia.”

Ottawa is committing $49.9 million to the projects. The Government of British Columbia is contributing over $15.4 million and the individual applicants are contributing more than $11.5 million through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream as well as the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream.

More than $40.5 million of the federal funding is going to 12 projects in Indigenous communities.

Officials stated that further announcements of infrastructure investments will follow in the coming months.

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