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Forestry to benefit from B.C. government funding

March 14, 2017 – The Government of B.C. is investing $3.6 billion in rural communities in the next year, with some funding also being allocated to forestry. The government says the goal is to strengthen and diversify B.C.’s rural communities with specific attention going into improving local economies, working with youth and partnering with Indigenous communities.

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson made the announcement, saying the initiative reflects the importance the province places on people living and working in rural areas of B.C. “Creating the conditions for rural British Columbia to grow and thrive is a key priority for our government,” Thomson said in a statement.

A $500,000 investment is going into the Regional District of Mount Waddington to create more forestry jobs there. “The creation of this rural economic development blueprint helps guide strategic investments which connect people, improve the health of our communities and environment, and stimulate business activity,” Rural Advisory Council member Jonathan Lok said in a statement. “These are meaningful initiatives that will make a difference for all of us in rural B.C.”

A $150 million investment is being placed in the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia which will be used to save the environment via tree-planting. It will also create more than 3,000 jobs in rural British Columbia, according to a government statement.

“B.C.’s rural economies and natural resource industries are at the backbone of our economy, and are shouldering the risk posed by the global downturn in commodity prices,” Premier Christy Clark said. “These challenges require immediate action to support our rural communities and a long-term plan that builds on our rural advantages to create jobs and diversify our economy.”

The province of B.C. provides more than $2.2 billion every year to help rural areas with education and skills training.