The governments of Canada and British Columbia announced more than $20 million in joint federal-provincial funding for eight social, transportation, and green infrastructure projects across the province.

Among the communities benefitting from the investments announced today is the Heiltsuk First Nation from Bella Bella. Funding will go toward an essential road infrastructure project that will increase access to the community by safely linking the community of Bella Bella and the airport. The existing road will be converted to a dedicated pedestrian and bike path and will be complimented by the construction of a new 2 km road. The new airport road will bring lasting economic benefits to the community by ensuring people and goods can flow freely and will also provide pedestrians and cyclists with safe, alternate means of transportation.

“This investment in eight infrastructure projects across the province shows our commitment to the resilience and welfare of communities. From more food security for the Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation to improved wastewater treatment on Salt Spring Island, we are supporting community well-being and the protection of the natural environment,” said Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine and B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs.

The Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation will gain greater food security through the construction of two green houses, two walk-in freezers, and a canning shed, which will support the community garden and sustainability program. These developments will help safeguard against the impact on food production caused by environmental threats.

Residents will gain better and safer access to Read Island in the Strathcona Regional District, accessible only via water, through the reconstruction of a dock, boardwalk, and community building.

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Other communities across the province, including Cumberland, Salt Spring Island, Spallumcheen, and Sparwood will benefit from new or upgraded wastewater treatment facilities and drinking water systems, including the rehabilitation of an aging dam, construction of a new well and reservoir, and upgrades to sewage treatment facilities. The improved quality of water and wastewater infrastructure in these communities will strengthen the health of local residents and ecosystems.

“This funding will have a positive impact in the lives of thousands of British Columbians. Our Government remains committed to working with our provincial partners to grow local economies, build more resilient communities, and protect BC’s breathtaking nature,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.

Featured image: (Central Coast Regional District)

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