BC Liberal Caucus Communications

MLA Jackie Tegart’s regular monthly Victoria Report

This summer while the forestry crisis was in full swing in rural British Columbia, workers in hard-hit forestry-dependent communities anxiously waited for government relief. Months passed with little action from the Province on the issue, until mid-September when the government announced modest monetary relief for forestry workers.

The Minister of Forestry, Doug Donaldson, announced $69-milllion in funding for forestry worker supports, and although the funding was not as comprehensive as people had hoped, it was encouraging to see the forestry crisis being recognized by the NDP government. However, a few days later we found out that the money promised to forestry workers was actually repurposed funds from another program important to rural B.C. –the Rural Dividend Fund.

The Rural Dividend Fund is a program that was introduced under the previous BC Liberal government with the purpose of promoting economic growth and diversification in rural areas. Communities and First Nations with populations of 25,000 or less have come to rely on this program to fund important projects that they could not otherwise afford.

There are countless success stories of the program helping small B.C. communities grow their local economies and generate jobs, multiple right here in the Fraser-Nicola. However, in order to pay for the $69-million promised to forestry workers, the NDP government has indefinitely suspended the Rural Dividend Fund. Communities that had been counting on funding for vital projects were then quietly sent letters from the Province letting them know that their applications would not be considered at this time.

This year the government has already received over 300 applications for the Rural Dividend, and it is difficult to think about so many communities being left without funding for their much-needed projects, especially when so many are already in a difficult place as a result of the forestry crisis. It is my hope that the government soon recognizes the importance of the Rural Divided Fund and swiftly reinstates it for the good of rural B.C.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Time for some tick talk to keep people and pets safe from pests

Pesky creatures peak in June, but are out there lurking throughout summer and fall

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Most Read