A handful of rural communities in the Capital Regional District can now apply for funding from a special regional trust.
The provincial government announced Tuesday that the electoral areas of Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island and the southern Gulf Islands are now eligible to apply for funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET).
ICET is an independent regional economic development corporation that was created in 2006 by the province and provides funding to help stimulate economic growth and job creation in various communities on Vancouver Island as well as the Sunshine Coast.
However, certain electoral districts within the Capital Regional District were not eligible to be part of ICET because they were considered urban areas, despite being far more rural than other communities within the district.
The province says it recently determined that the Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island and the southern Gulf Islands electoral areas “lack the ability” to cover core services and amenities costs and have fewer services than their urban CRD neighbours.
“Expanding the trust’s service area means more small communities will be eligible for funding that will help them grow and thrive, supporting projects such as building new infrastructure, enhancing small-business opportunities or supporting Indigenous economic development,” Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, said in a press release. “As with StrongerBC, ICET is working hard to build an economic recovery for British Columbia that is innovative, sustainable and inclusive.”