Northeast B.C. sees $1.6 million in rural funding

Local governments and non-profit groups in the Northeast are receiving more than $1.6 million in rural development funding from the province.

The province announced last week seven groups will split $1,622,978 in rural dividend grants for a number of ongoing projects.

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The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality is receiving $300,000 to support the second phase of its aspen utilization project. That includes a fibre supply analysis, sawmill and veneer opportunity assessment, a markets and logistics assessment, and a business strategy that includes an investor attraction package, the municipality says.

The municipality says it will leverage the grant with its own funding and funding from Forest Production Innovations as it tries to kickstart the local forestry industry and utilize its high quality aspen resource. 

The City of Fort St. John is receiving $174,835 to help fund a Leader Lab at the Community Development Institute. The lab, a pilot project, will offer workshops on leadership skills development, economic development, and more.

The Doig River First Nation received $87,000 in funding. Calls for details about the grant were not returned.

Meanwhile, the Community Futures Development Corporation Peace Liard received $100,000. The District of Tumbler Ridge received $254,810, and the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Society received $358,000. Futurpreneur Canada received $348,333. The non-profit agency offers entrepreneur mentoring and financing resources, and says the funding will help support a number of its initiatives in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and Treaty 8 areas. 

The province announced a total of $10.1 million in rural dividend grants on Oct. 13. The province is directing $1.7 million to communities affected by the 2017 wildfires, while $758,000 will go to five projects in wildfire-impacted areas.

“These new grants will provide much-needed support to rural communities, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations,” said Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson in a statement.

“Going forward, we want to make sure that rural citizens have a voice and will play an integral role in any rural development.”

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