The British Columbia government is accepting applications from local governments, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit organizations for nearly $136 million in infrastructure grants to help communities develop resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In partnership with the Government of Canada, the funds are being made available as part of the new COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS), a new stream under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

CVRIS will support projects that focus on retrofits, rehabilitation and upgrades to existing local government and Indigenous community buildings, COVID-19 response infrastructure, active transportation and disaster mitigation.

“This new fund will create new opportunities for communities to build the infrastructure needed to help them respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Josie Osborne, B.C.’s Minister of Municipal Affairs. “The accelerated approval process is part of our efforts to support economic recovery for people and communities in B.C. by identifying projects for funding as early as spring 2021.”

CVRIS is accepting applications through two ministries:

  • up to $80 million is available for projects administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs; and
  • up to $56 million is available for flood mitigation and adaptation projects administered by Emergency Management BC.

“We want to ensure British Columbians are resilient to hazards like flooding, and that means we have to ensure the structural and natural infrastructure is in place to protect communities,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “These funds are another way we are providing targeted funding toward projects that local governments and Indigenous communities have identified to lessen the impact floods have on their communities.”

The Province and the federal government recently signed an amendment to their joint agreement under the ICIP in order to create the new CVRIS.

“British Columbians and all Canadians have demonstrated incredible solidarity during this pandemic, and the Government of Canada has been there to support them,” said Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Our COVID-19 stream provides up to 80 cents on every dollar to help communities adapt, with projects like upgrading hospitals, long-term care homes and schools, building new parks, cycling and walking paths, or dissuaded mitigation projects that protect against floods and wildfires. These projects will create good jobs and build cleaner, more inclusive communities in B.C.”

To meet the accelerated timeline in response to COVID-19, applicants for funding under EMBC’s Adaptation, Resilience and Disaster Mitigation program have until January 11, 2021, to apply. All other applicants have until January 27, 2021.

For further information and to access applications, click here.

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