Christy Clark’s Liberal government is making a bid to shore up election support in rural BC, just a couple of months prior to the BC election.
The Premier has announced details of the rural economic strategy which will include a 79 million dollar investment to update post secondary campuses like Vernon’s Okanagan College which had a new 6 million dollar trades training building announced last fall.
“Across the province, the investments we’re making in this rural development plan are expected to support 26-thousand-600 direct and indirect jobs,” Clark told a news conference in Merritt.
The initiatives also include $40 million to expand and enhance high-speed Internet.
“Tech jobs can happen anywhere where there is high speed Internet, and those jobs should be just as available for people in places like Ashcroft and Merritt, as they are in places like Kelowna and Victoria,” says Clark.
The province will extend the $25 million Rural Dividend Fund for community projects.
Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster says his riding will get more than $668,000 under the Rural Dividend Fund for three projects.
“That includes a $500,000 investment in the North Okanagan Community Futures Development Corporation through the Rural Dividend Fund to develop Stage 2 of the Okanagan Rail Trail, $100,000 for the Okanagan Indian Band to support their Workforce Capacity Development Program, and a $68,329 investment in the Village of Lumby to assess underdeveloped private properties and assist with the development of a long-term plan aimed at economic development and growth,” says Foster.
Shuswap Liberal MLA Greg Kyllo says his riding will receive more than $315,000 under the Rural Dividend Fund for five projects.
“$98,061 for the Shuswap Hut and Trail Alliance Society to build six new four-season trails for hiking, mountain biking, equestrian and snowshoeing, $85,500 for the Splats’in Development Corporation for the planning and development of district lot 2415 at Mable Lake, and the development of a summer arts and cultural training centre, $80,050 to help Enderby showcase community investment opportunities that will create jobs and enhance economic activity, $43,000 for the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society to identify supply-chain opportunities, and $9,200 for the South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce to install digital counters in new tourism kiosks.”