New economic development strategy to build on B.C.’s rural advantages

The strategy outlines the Province's three-pronged approach to build, strengthen, and diversify rural communities

  • Mar. 12, 2017 10:00 a.m.

Minister of State for Rural Economic Development

MERRITT – Building on the economic benefits and jobs created by getting to yes on major projects and provincial investments in infrastructure, Premier Christy Clark and Minister of State For Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett recently released the Province’s rural economic development strategy, detailing immediate investments and a long-term action plan to support thriving rural communities.

“Creating the conditions for rural British Columbia to grow and thrive is a key priority for our government,” said Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development. “Building on our Rural Advantages gives rural British Columbians the tools to shape their own future, and reflects the importance we place on the workers, families and businesses who reside in in the rural areas of the province.”

Building on our Rural Advantages: B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy outlines the Province’s three-pronged approach to build, strengthen, and diversify rural communities. These investments are expected to support up to 26,600 direct and indirect jobs with an overall impact of $2.8 billion to provincial GDP. Targeted initiatives include $40 million to expand and enhance high-speed Internet and an extension of the $25-million Rural Dividend Fund to reinvigorate and diversify more local economies. These will ensure British Columbians in all regions of the province have the opportunity for well-paying jobs and a high quality of life in their community.

Rural communities throughout B.C. will also benefit from immediate targeted investments through provincial economic development programs including the Rural Dividend Fund, Youth Trades Capital Equipment Program, the B.C. Side Roads Program, Connecting British Columbia Grant Funding, and the Canada – B.C. Job Grant.