Ridley Terminals Inc. has donated $1 million to four communities on the B.C. north coast.
The coal terminal based on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert celebrated its 35th anniversary by contributing to community projects that promoted work in trades, heritage and culture or diversity specifically among women and Indigenous people.
Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla all benefited, and the announcement was made at the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 28. President and COO of Ridley Terminals, Marc Dulude, attended to speak to the contribution and to deliver cheques.
The biggest contribution went toward School District 52’s Truth and Reconciliation implementation plan. Superintendent, Irene LaPierre, accepted a $288,500 cheque from Ridley Terminals to support the ongoing reconciliation process within the school district.
“We are thrilled to receive this, this will certainly help with the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action. It will create an environment based on mutual respect and empathy. It will be teaching staff and students about the impacts of residential schools… It will give us the opportunity to delve deeper into our shared history and Canadian history and to showcase the pride of Aboriginal people. It’s a wonderful opportunity for growth and it’s going to be good for all kids, not just Aboriginal kids,” LaPierre said.
With the funding, the district will bring the school libraries up to date to reflect the history of Indigenous people in Canada, and the impact of residential school, there will be efforts to hire a Truth and Reconciliation specialist to lead training and teaching within the classrooms, as well as additional teacher training.
“When we teach our kids and we teach our staff, it’s like pebble in the pond, everyone learns,” LaPierre said. “Big kudos for Ridley for accepting our proposal. What a great way for them to give to the community.”
Other projects selected include Coastal Pathways, a joint program between the school district, Coast Mountain College and Ridley Terminals that has provided electrical and millwright training in Prince Rupert. A $90,000 was donated to go toward equipment and to allow the program to expand and add heavy duty equipment training.
There was a $42,500 donation toward the Breakfast Club of Canada to provide daily school to one school for a year.
The Women’s Leadership Network received $100,000 to host a women’s leadership conference in Prince Rupert.
Lax Kw’alaams received $200,000 to construct a three-lane track and a turf field.
Metlakatla received $200,000 to upgrade its recreational facility and to do the work necessary to re-open the wilderness trail.
Port Edward received $79,000 toward enhancing Diana Lake and to clean up the park, including establishing a protective book to make it safer for users.