View the print version: PDF (194KB)
As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan (EAP), Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has invested over $430 million towards more than 1,000 projects across the West. These projects are contributing to Canada’s economic recovery and creating jobs. Since July 2009, the EAP has helped to create close to 400,000 jobs across Canada.
Through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) initiative, WD will provide more than $290 million in funds to help communities reduce the short-term impacts of the economic downturn. Of these funds, British Columbia will receive almost $119 million.
The following are two examples of CAF projects that are making a difference in BC communities:
British Columbia’s picturesque Fort Steele Heritage Town now has advanced communications and security systems as a result of CAF funding.
Fort Steele, located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, began as a gold rush town in the mid 1800s but had become a virtual ghost town by the end of the century. Designated as a provincial Historic Park in 1961, the site has since become one of BC’s most significant heritage attractions. With $38,500 in funding from CAF, the Friends of Fort Steele Society, a non-profit organization that operates Fort Steele Heritage Town, has installed advanced communications and security systems to enrich services for visitors, enhance the operations of several onsite businesses, and create additional revenue, employment and marketing opportunities. The project included purchasing and installing fibre optics, communications, and security equipment and instrumentation. The proponent reports that this project has created or maintained 12 months of employment and nine businesses were created or expanded. The added capacity for wireless services will continue to support the development of other businesses at the town site in the future.
New fences, re-aligned irrigation systems and fields prepared for planting paid for by CAF funds are creating productive farmland on the reserve range lands of the Neskonlith Indian Band.
The Neskonlith Indian Band has created productive farmland from on-reserve range lands in south-central BC with more than $986,000 in funding from CAF. The project included installing fences, re-aligning irrigation systems and preparing the fields for planting. In addition, the ongoing reduction of wildfire fuels will result in longer term ecological benefits and increased skills in forestry. The project is proceeding on schedule and the proponent reports that it has created or maintained 74 months of employment.* By building capacity within the First Nations community, the project is providing both immediate and longer term employment opportunities.
* employment figures as of September 30, 2010.