The federal government has announced it is going ahead with the funding of 92 B.C. infrastructure projects as the first step of its resumption of the “Investing in Canada” plan, officials said this morning.
According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the projects will amount to a total of $150 million and are aimed at creating “good, well-paying jobs” across the province.
“We are controlling the spread of the virus, and because the situation continues to improve, we can now pick up where we left off on many of the things we put on hold over the spring,” Trudeau said while also thanking B.C. premier John Horgan for the collaboration.
It is unclear which Metro Vancouver area projects will receive funding in this first round, although federal and provincial officials have confirmed 22 such projects (eight of which will be in indigenous communities) will be on Vancouver Island.
These projects - to which Ottawa will contribute $33.2 million while the province chips in $8.7 million and the project applicants fund $12.2 million - will include an Arts and Heritage Hub in Ladysmith and a culture centre at the Huu-ay-aht First Nations.
Other projects getting the go-ahead, officials said, include items involving improvements to community centres, health centres, storm water management, drinking water and wastewater facilities, cultural facilities and social support hubs.
B.C. minister of indigenous relations Scott Fraser said in a statement that among the projects is the Ahtaapq Creek Hydropower Project near the Hesquiaht First Nations, adding that COVID-19 has made these type of facilities vital for some communities.
“People need public spaces and services to support their health and well-being now more than ever,” he said.
Among the Lower Mainland project originally slated to receive funding in the $180 billion Investing in Canada plan (processed through Infrastructure Canada) are the planning/design and early works for the SkyTrain Millennium Line Broadway extension, as well as similar endeavours in the South of Fraser rapid transit initiative.