People in Mid Island-Pacific Rim to benefit from economic development projects

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PORT ALBERNI – New Democrat MLA Scott Fraser says that people in Mid Island-Pacific Rim will benefit from increased job opportunities, thanks to over $370,000 in provincial grants that will support local recreation and economic development projects.

“I’m so pleased to welcome this funding that will support a wide range of projects, highlighting the vibrancy of our communities,” said Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “From assisting in the growth of a local seafood business, to helping expand maple syrup manufacturing, these projects will mean more job opportunities for people.”

A total of $370,548 is going to 8 projects across the region, ranging from initiatives to support local small businesses and social entrepreneurships, to tourism development projects, to building and improving local walking 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:

  • Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District: Alberni Valley Regional Airport Strategic Economic Development Plan ($10,000)
    • Host a workshop and develop a Strategic Economic Development Plan for the recently expanded Alberni Valley Regional Airport (AVRA).
  • Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership: Analysis of Capacity of West Coast Vancouver Island Coastal Communities to Deliver Large-Scale Ocean Farming of Seaweed ($170,784)
    • Gather and analyse information critical to the growth of the seafood business, including an analysis of available workforce, skill sets, infrastructure, warehousing, cold storage, approved processing facilities and transportation systems.
  • Alberni Farmers’ Institute: Alberni Valley Fire Mitigation and Field Trials ($9,959)
    • Securing communal equipment for producers and conducting field trials of climate-appropriate crops and innovative production methods to reduce fire hazards from vast expanses of unmanaged hay fields.
  • District of Ucluelet: Ucluelet Tourism Master Plan ($33,416)
    • Plan to provide actions and a timeline to enhance the visitor experience, engage the tourism community and other stakeholders to identify a shared community vision and strategies, actions and partnerships to achieve it.
  • Hupacasath First Nation: Kleekhoot Gold Bigleaf Maple Syrup Farm Expansion Project ($93,939)
    • Expand production capacity of Hupacasath’s existing syrup business by increasing tree inventory by over 50% by researching and developing a secondary site for sap production and building capacity in community members.
  • Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce: Planning for Business Retention and Expansion in Tofino ($10,000)
    • Develop a detailed work plan and budget to support work to examine unique challenges and opportunities facing small businesses in Tofino.
  • Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest Society: Planning, initial layout of trails and construction of one trail loop within the Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest ($32,450).
    • Flag the location of six walking trails and construct a two km long trail loop.
  • Central Westcoast Forest Society: Forest Canopy Outpost ($10,000)
    • Supporting rural year-round tourism development by completing the conceptual designs and business plan for the Forest Canopy Outpost, a gathering place that offers interpretive, retail and conference space where visitors can explore a rainforest from the comforts of a modern treetop architectural edifice.

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