Rural dividend fund supports local communities

The three-year fund will provide $25 million in funding to help rural communities stay sustainable.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart.

Jackie Tegart

Communities like Ashcroft and Cache Creek have a proud history of hard work and success in the extraction and development of natural resources. As such, they have been—and continue to be—valued contributors to our provincial economy.

However, as time goes on, it is becoming increasingly important to protect our communities from the risks that come with economies that depend on natural resources for their success.

In order to ensure that our communities are resilient, sustainable, and able to retain and attract residents, we must embrace the challenge of economic diversification.

There is no question that this will be a challenge. Our BC Liberal government recognizes this, and is working hard to support our communities in their efforts to meet and overcome the challenges they face.

Last year, the province established the three-year Rural Dividend Fund to provide $25 million per year for three years to help rural communities with populations below 25,000 to boost and diversify their local economies.

In October, the Villages of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton, as well as the Lytton and Ashcroft Indian Bands and the Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation, received a combined total of over $129,000 from the Fund to support projects that will further their diversification efforts.

Powered by the innovation and initiative of our residents, these projects stand to make Ashcroft and Cache Creek even more attractive places to live, work, and raise a family.

Together, I know we can keep our communities thriving.

The second intake for the Rural Dividend Fund closed at the end of October; to learn more about the fund, including information on the next intake period and application details, please visit www.gov.bc.ca and enter “BC Rural Dividend” into the search field.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my constituency office at (250) 453-9726.