BC Rural Dividend grants support small communities

DAWSON CREEK – Under the BC Rural Dividend, the provincial government is providing $10,000 in project development funds to the City of Dawson Creek MLA Mike Bernier announced today.

Dawson Creek has indicated it will use the grant to support development of a health strategy for the attraction and retention of health specialists.

This is one of 47 successful project development grants, totalling over $464,000, that are being awarded to eligible communities. The grants will assist rural communities to build business cases and feasibility assessments to support the development of strong project applications to the three-year, $75-million, BC Rural Dividend.

As committed during the September 2015 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention and in Balanced Budget 2016, the BC Rural Dividend helps rural communities with populations under 25,000 to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies, making them more attractive places to live and work.

Launched April 1, 2016, the first application intake window closed May 31, 2016. A total of 180 applications were received from a cross-section of communities, not-for-profit associations and First Nations from around the province. A second application intake will run from Oct. 3 to 31, 2016.

Project development funding applications, for up to $10,000 each, were reviewed on an accelerated timeline. Decisions on other categories of applications are expected in September 2016.

Under the guidelines of the BC Rural Dividend, single applicants can apply for up to $100,000 for community-driven projects and must contribute at least 20% of the total project cost. Applicants representing partnerships can apply for up to $500,000 and must contribute 40% of the total project cost.

Funding of $25 million per year, over the next three years, is available in four categories: community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.

MLA Mike Bernier, Peace River South –

“With this funding, Dawson Creek will be able to pursue a local solution to health care delivery that fits their specific needs. The study will help the community develop stronger and more efficient local health care which will only serve to enhance the quality of life of my constituents.”

Quick Facts:

  • The BC Rural Dividend is part of government’s multi-faceted response to assisting rural communities and complements existing initiatives supporting rural communities.
  • The criteria for the BC Rural Dividend was developed with input from the 13-member Rural Advisory Council, which was formed in March 2015.