North Vancouver Island communities received almost a quarter to half a million dollar funding as part of the $425 million federal-provincial Safe Restart agreement.
North Island communities like Tahsis, Zeballos and Sayward received $249, 000, $200,000 and $265,000 respectively, whereas Gold River received $557,000.
The funding administered through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) is meant to support facility reopening and operational cost along with local emergency response in these communities
The federal funding is a response to the concerns and need for monetary support that municipalities across the country had voiced in April after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the UBCM said that they had advocated on behalf of local governments before the province during the summer with regard to revenue streams impacted by COVID-19 as well as new expenditures that municipalities face due to the pandemic.
These challenges are unique to local governments and were also communicated to the federal government by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Brian Frenkel, president of the UBCM said that he was “very pleased to see the speed at which the federal and provincial governments have delivered this funding to local governments in B.C.”
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, local governments have taken steps to manage costs and rethink budgets, but communities are contending with significant revenue shortfalls. These funds will be available for immediate use and provide greater clarity as budgets are developed for the coming year,” he said in a statement.
Part of the Safe Restart funding was also provided to regional districts like the Strathcona Regional District which received $539,000.