MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“Conservative Government-Northern Development Initiative Trust Partnership Boosted to $30-million”
This week there was yet more reason to celebrate home-grown innovation and local decision-making at its best.
Earlier this year, our Conservative Government identified Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) as the best choice to deliver $10-million of the federal Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) to central and northern BC communities.
CAF is the federal fund established under Canada’s Economic Action Plan to help reduce the short-term impacts of restructuring in communities that are heavily reliant on resource-based industries, including forestry and mining. CAF is designed to create real local jobs now.
Northern Development Initiative Trust is the independent regionally-based, highly-responsive organization that knows what’s going on in our local communities. From new projects, investment and innovation to employment needs and opportunities, NDIT has a proven track record of connecting leaders in industry, business, education and government to drive economic development and boost employment.
CAF and NDIT are a perfect fit. And this week at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, I joined local business people and community leaders as NDIT identified 23 projects in 25 BC communities that will receive CAF funding. Thanks to NDIT, this federal money is being delivered rapidly and with due diligence and strong local support.
Since you can’t beat that kind of success, I was pleased to announce that the Government of Canada has decided to entrust NDIT with a further $20-million under the Community Adjustment Fund to support additional projects in northern BC.
There was tremendous demand for the Community Adjustment Fund from area businesses and communities and I commend the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s staff and board for reviewing the applications so quickly and thoroughly. This additional funding means they will be able to fund many more worthy, job-creating projects in our region.
Those already approved are wide-ranging in scope from tourism improvements to skills training to green energy to the expansion of a mobile poultry processor. In all, this first round of announced projects will create 295 jobs over the next 19 months.
In Prince George-Peace River, the Village of McBride is receiving funding to boost its tourism infrastructure. The City of Prince George will create up to 18 jobs through the expansion of the University of Northern British Columbia’s Connector Trail System.
UNBC is getting over $1-million to equip First Nations, youth, low income and the unemployed with employment skills, resources and practical business experience. And the Northern Environmental Action Team will receive funding to renew and expand its waste reduction program in the Peace River Regional District and Fort Nelson.
In addition to the $30-million that NDIT will deliver, Western Economic Diversification is also reviewing applications under the Community Adjustment Fund. Eligible projects must be ready to start now, generate immediate employment and completed by March 31, 2011.
In the coming days, I look forward to sharing more information with you on how this very successful partnership between our Conservative Government and the Northern Development Initiative Trust will continue to support projects that get people back to work and help to restore economic stability in northern British Columbia.