North Island MLA Claire Trevena. (Black Press file photo)

People in the north Island to benefit from economic development projects

A total of $438,580 is going to eight projects across the north Island.

New Democrat MLA Claire Trevena says that people in the north Island will benefit from increased job opportunities, thanks to over $430,000 in provincial grants that will support local recreation and economic development projects.

“Our government is committed to supporting local projects that will help create opportunities for people in rural communities,” said Trevena. “From developing tourism materials, to exploring opportunities for wood waste, to promoting forestry training, these investments will go a long way in improving the lives of people in our communities.”

A total of $438,580 is going to eight projects across the north Island, ranging from initiatives to support local small businesses and social entrepreneurships, to downtown revitalization projects, to building and improving local trails.

These local investments are part of nearly $14 million in grants for over 150 projects that will support economic development and recreational opportunities for British Columbians who live in rural communities throughout the province.

Funding recipients were identified from applications received during the 6th intake of the Rural Dividend Program in summer 2019. Priority was given to economic development projects that have a focus and potential for job creation.

Regional grants include:

– District of Port Hardy: Boatyard & Haul-Out Facility Feasibility Study & Report ($60,000)

Complete a feasibility study for a boatyard and haul-out facility to service vessels along the north coast – if viable to be undertaken in collaboration with First Nation partners.

– Wuikinuxv Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO): Tourism Opportunity Viability in Wuikinuxv Territory ($9,780)

This study will conduct a S.W.O.T. like analysis to review strengths, challenges, risks and opportunities in eco- and cultural tourism in the Wuikinuxv Territory to identify opportunities for Nation and for individuals that are consistent with Wuikinuxv values and aspirations.

– Village of Gold River: Destination Development ($59,800)

Develop options and create Gold River Branding Standards for the Tourism/Economic Development website, wayfinding signs, graphics and promotional materials, creating an easily identifiable look and feel to Gold River promotion and marketing.

– Village of Port Alice: Port Alice Interpretive Sign Project ($80,000)

Install signs along sea walk describing predators in the inlet and at the dyke, update signage at town entrance, install a sea otter chainsaw carving at Lyons Park.

– Town of Port McNeill: Port McNeill Downtown Improvement Plan ($10,000)

Assessment of Port McNeill’s downtown to develop an Action Plan to create an “attractive and sought after community” for new workers, families and visitors.

– Atli Resources Limited Partnership: Vancouver Island North Wood Waste Opportunity Study ($96,000)

Investigate the use of North Island wood waste in value added manufacturing, assess available inventory, identify potential value-added uses, evaluate feasibility of a sub-set and recommend an option for a value-added processing facility.

– Back Country Horsemen Society of British Columbia – North Vancouver Island Chapter: Salmon Brewster Trail Development Assessment ($10,000)

Address high priority recommendation of the Trail Assessment report “that a qualified professional determine appropriate measures that will improve trail stability and increase user safety.”

– Regional District of Mount Waddington: VINTAS Training and Attraction Program ($100,000)

Move beyond the initial pilot program and implement a strategy for a long-term program for forest sector training and resident attraction, through an ambassador program, a job fair program, an outreach program, and work to secure ongoing funding.

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