Government of Canada investing across British Columbia to revitalize public spaces and grow vibrant communities
SECHELT, BC and ROBERTS CREEK, BC, July 22, 2022 /CNW/ – Shared public spaces are the heart of communities across Canada. They bring together people of all ages and abilities, supporting businesses and stimulating local economies. In Roberts Creek and Sechelt, like so many places across British Columbia, the communities are ready to welcome back residents and visitors to refreshed outdoor public spaces.
The Government of Canada recognizes that many well-loved spaces laid dormant while Canadians took precautions to stay safe. Upgrading existing community infrastructure and building new public assets will help Canadian cities and towns provide better access to recreational programs and facilities while boosting their economic vitality.
Today, Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, on behalf of the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced an investment of $761,300 through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) for the Village of Sechelt and the One Straw Society.
In the heart of downtown Sechelt, $717,000 will help upgrade Inlet Avenue, the main street and transportation corridor. Project activities include adding a new road and sidewalk, improving lighting for nighttime visibility, adding parking, building amenities, and upgrading electrical infrastructure. The project has been designed to improve accessibility and will include tactile landing pads for people with visual handicaps. In addition to creating jobs for the local community, these infrastructure upgrades are expected to benefit surrounding businesses and the town as a whole.
In Roberts Creek, $44,300 will allow the One Straw Society to redesign and expand the One Tiny Farm community garden. Project activities include creating accessible pathways and gathering space, adding new signage, lighting, solar power, and building a barn shed and entrance gates. Revitalizing the garden will help attract hundreds of residents and visitors per week, and provide opportunities for local artists, businesses and farmers to host community events. The garden will also serve as an educational experience, raising public awareness of organic food systems and sustainable methods of food production.
The CCRF was launched in June 2021. It is providing $500 million over two years for Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) to invest in projects that build and improve community infrastructure. The Government of Canada is committed to rejuvenating public spaces to make them safer, greener and more accessible. This will stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.
“This initiative demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting economic development in communities across British Columbia. We have helped put small-and medium-sized businesses on the road to recovery. Now it’s time to invest in the shared public spaces that will safely bring people together and help communities grow and thrive well into the future.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
“When public spaces can be utilized for people of all ages and abilities, it allows everyone to benefit from and enjoy our community. This funding will allow the District of Sechelt to make downtown more accessible and safer, while creating jobs and stimulating small business activity and the local economy. One Straw Society will benefit from an investment to create a more accessible and revitalized garden, boosting tourism to an already well-loved public space. Projects like these are key to improving the quality of life of residents, helping bring people together to enjoy all that their community has to offer.”
– Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country
“We’re thankful for this funding as it goes directly to improving the avenue surfaces and features for people of all mobilities. From a large medical clinic, to a school, to the post office, Inlet avenue hosts essential services for all residents and is in desperate need of safety and inclusion upgrades for those who use it daily. Towns like ours rely on grants and government funding for nearly 100% of our projects – we are so grateful to receive this today.”
– Darnelda Siegers, Mayor, District of Sechelt
“We are so excited to be revitalizing this chunk of land in the heart of Roberts Creek! Not only are we growing food for our communities, but we’re creating a quaint, inviting space for the public to wander, be curious, learn, and hopefully feel inspired to connect with others, grow food, and see the value of a local, healthy food system. Thanks to new picnic tables, pathways, gazebos, solar power and weather protection, One Tiny Farm will soon be full of spaces and ways to bring community together after two long years of isolation. As our work continues on this project, we’re already seeing kids’ camps, reunions, farm to table dinners, and quiet contemplation in the gardens, with over 800 people every week wandering through. We’re so grateful for the funding to be able to build this in the hub of our community, and to see the excitement every day on people’s faces at the way this previously unused space is being reinvented into something so unique and charming.”
– Casandra Fletcher, Executive Director, One Straw Society
- CCRF funding supports two major streams of activity so that communities can:
- adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public-health guidelines, and/or
- build or improve community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions.
- Eligible recipients include not-for-profit organizations; rural, municipal or regional governments; Indigenous groups and communities; and public sector bodies that provide municipal-type infrastructure.
- Priority may be given to projects that encourage the participation of underrepresented groups and take into consideration the unique challenges of rural and remote communities.
- Pacific Economic Development Canada
- Canada Community Revitalization Fund
- One Straw Society
- District of Sechelt
SOURCE Pacific Economic Development Canada