Tourism Prince Rupert and Gitga’at Development Corporation are two local organizations being awarded just less $700,000 in provincial funding this week. The funding comes under the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA and Nathan Cullen announced in a joint press release on Feb. 25.
“This recovery funding will help communities build on their strengths so that we can have an economic recovery that works for people at the local level,” Rice said.
“Our BCNDP government is investing $239,000 in Tourism Prince Rupert so when the time is right we can welcome back visitors with open arms with new welcome and wayfinding signage,” Tourism Prince Rupert posted on its social media page.
The city tourism body will receive the CERIP grant from the destination development stream which funds investments in implementation-ready tourism infrastructure and amenities projects that support the recovery and resilience of tourism.
The funding is designed to create jobs and develop infrastructure that will attract visitors to B.C. communities when travel resumes,” the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport media statement read.
The Tourism Prince Rupert project is one of 30 community-based projects spread across the Northwest region from Atlin to Burns Lake to Bella Coola in receipt of destination funding.
Approved tourism projects include campground and recreational-vehicle site development, alpine and mountain bike trails, boat launch upgrades, construction and/or renovations of visitor amenities, and Indigenous interpretive centres.
Successful projects were chosen for their demonstrated tourism benefits to communities and British Columbians, along with new jobs, many of which will provide employment for apprentices, youth, new Canadians, women, and First Nations.
Gitga’at Development Corporation will receive $456,000 from B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs under the CERIP umbrella for energy efficiency and building upgrades to the structure in downtown Prince Rupert.
“Gitga’at has long participated in the economic and social life of the region. Funding provided through CERIP allows us to address accessibility issues for members with mobility challenges, as well as supporting extensive exterior renovations …” Paul Paterson, Gitga’at Development Corporation said in a social media post.
“In addition to building back from the economic hit of COVID-19, these projects will benefit people in their daily lives and help create jobs here in the northwest,” Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine said. “This is a $13 million shot in the arm.”
“In the face of this pandemic that has been so difficult for people, communities in our region have shown incredible resilience and creativity in finding ways to weather the storm,” Rice said. “That resilience has helped us through these times, and it’s what will help us recover from them.”
K-J Millar | Journalist
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