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Recovery grants see $20-million given to rural communities

The B.C. Government will distribute $20-million across 38 rural projects, including nearly $2-million between two projects in the East Kootenay.

According to the Provincial Government, the investment is meant to support new jobs and economic opportunities to help with COVID-19 recovery.

The Province said $976,455 will go to the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance to expand the Eagle Ranch Segment of the Invermere to Radium project.

Meanwhile, a further $983,000 will be used by the Athalmer Destination Trails to expand the trail and boardwalks and connect with other existing trails and sidewalks.

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Together, the projects will see $1,959,455 in provincial investment come into the region.

“We are working to support economic recovery in every corner of the province, so families and communities can get through the pandemic and start looking towards their futures again,” said Premier John Horgan. “These shovel-ready projects will put people living in rural British Columbia back to work immediately and support building diversified economies in their communities.”

B.C. said grants from its Rural Economic Recovery (RER) program are used to support communities in their economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our government is connecting communities with the resources they need to create jobs and new economic opportunities,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This has been a challenging year for British Columbians, and the remoteness of some rural communities can mean additional challenges. These grants will have a positive impact as communities manage through COVID-19 and beyond.”

This funding will be used to create construction jobs for Indigenous government and organization, local government and not-for-profit projects. Once completed, the province said the projects will help communities diversify and grow their economies.

“StrongerBC is about building an economic recovery that includes everyone, and it is vital our rural communities remain vibrant,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “The RER program is one part of our commitment to spark job growth and help build stronger communities throughout B.C.”

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