WATCH: The Spirit Bay development in partnership with Sc’ianew First Nation in East Sooke got a big cheque from the federal government Tuesday. A total of $2.9 million will go directly into a new hub for the seaside village, bringing more jobs and economic prosperity to the people of Beecher Bay. Luisa Alvarez has the details.
The Spirit Bay seaside village development on Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) First Nation land is a work in progress. Only about 50 homes are built so far but 1,500 will be on the land once construction is complete.
Also part of the plan is a new town centre for the village that just received a $2.9 million investment from the federal government.
“This is a proposal that came to us and it makes a lot of sense this will help create jobs, create economic development exactly what first nations want happening in their community,” said Marc Miller, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous relations.
Chief Russ Chipps of the Sc’ianew First Nation (Beecher Bay First Nation) says it’s a win-win for everyone.
“We need power, sewer, and water to get housing and its things like this that bring power sewer and water to us. I’m happy that our children get to see a newer and better life it’s not immediate but its coming,” said Chipps.
The town centre built on land adjacent to the Spirit Bay village will feature a new band administration building, a health and wellness building as well as a general market, a community store, gas station, and bakery.
It will not only service Scia’new First Nation First Nation residents but neighbouring communities are benefiting as well.
One example is Metchosin that wants to stay rural but still getting amenities close by.
“We would be very happy to come out and support the businesses that are here it works for both of us,” said Metchosin Mayor John Ranns.
And the welcomed investment from the federal government is a good precedent to set for future partnerships.
“It really shows that the federal government has given a real sign of approval and confidence into the partnership which is this template to replicate for private-public partnerships across the nation with other First Nations,” said Developer Kris Obrigewitsch.
The town centre will be built over an eight-year period with construction beginning fall of 2019.