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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2024JEDI0027-000750
May 15, 2024
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
B.C. takes action to strengthen northern rural communities

VICTORIA – Local governments, First Nations, not-for-profit organizations and manufacturing businesses in northern B.C. are receiving funding that will create and protect jobs, promote economic diversification, clean-economy opportunities and infrastructure development.

“We’re working with rural communities to create and protect sustainable, family-supporting jobs that are central to our industrial blueprint,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “By supporting local leaders and businesses who’ve identified priority projects that ensure a stronger, cleaner economic future for B.C., together we’re delivering opportunities for northerners to thrive in the places they call home.”   

The Government of B.C is contributing as much as $33 million across rural areas of the province for the second intake of the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP). Communities in northern B.C. will receive as much as $13.3 million in REDIP funding for 42 approved projects to help strengthen local economies.

One approved project sees Kwadacha Nation receiving $1 million for expansion of its store that will include a loading dock and a cold-storage warehouse, along with a revitalization of its community restaurant, which closed because of COVID-19 and did not reopen. Using the new loading dock and cold-storage space, the Nation will be able to store the produce sourced from community greenhouses and transported to the community to ensure it is kept fresh for as long as possible and used in various meals served at the reopened restaurant.

In its first two years, REDIP will see as much as $99 million invested in more than 300 projects in rural B.C. There is additional funding for as much as $33 million available in the upcoming third intake of REDIP, with applications expected to open in July 2024 and remain open until the end of October 2024.

Additionally, through the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF), the Government of B.C. is contributing as much as $1.2 million toward four projects in northern B.C. that will see local businesses grow, diversify and make their operations more sustainable, create and protect jobs, and promote the development of made-in-B.C. products, including:

  • Houston – DH Manufacturing Inc. is a secondary wood-product manufacturer specializing in finger joint lumber, dunnage, strips and lathe products. It is receiving as much as $480,000 to support the installation of a new finger jointer that will increase productivity and support the creation of higher-value products from residuals and lower-grade fibre, while protecting 40 existing positions.
  • 94 Mile House – Tsi Del Del Development Corporation, 100% owned and operated by the Tŝideldel First Nation, is receiving as much as $422,000 to purchase equipment for the creation of a sort yard for biomass aimed at centralizing the processing of waste wood that would otherwise be burned, manufacture higher-value products and create as many as 16 jobs.
  • Prince George – Prolenc Manufacturing Inc. is a metal-manufacturing business specializing in machine brake links and drill heads for the logging and mining industries. It is receiving as much as $254,000 to purchase and install new machinery that will enhance its manufacturing capabilities and increase efficiency to meet current demand, while creating two new jobs and upskilling 12 existing positions.
  • Williams Lake – Grosso Precast Ltd. manufactures civil precast concrete products. It is receiving as much as $50,000 to conduct project planning for a capital project that aims to double its production, improve efficiency and add new high-value products.

The Province is taking action by supporting local manufacturers to help build a more innovative economy for people, businesses and communities in B.C. With more than three-quarters of the BCMJF projects located in rural B.C., funding will help create sustainable, well-paying jobs across a range of sectors, leading to economic diversification and growth in smaller communities throughout the province.

“Programs like REDIP and the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund are important tools for creating stronger, cleaner local economies in northern B.C.,” said Nathen Cullen, MLA for Stikine. “With tens of millions of dollars in support of our local businesses, we will create diverse, thriving communities.”

Clean and Competitive: A Blueprint for B.C.’s Industrial Future lays out the Province’s work to drive new investment, create new jobs and seize new opportunities in growing clean-energy and sustainable industries. Leveraging B.C.’s strengths to create good jobs and opportunities in every community will improve quality of life while strengthening B.C.’s diverse economy.

Quotes:

Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast –

“Growing local industry and infrastructure are both key ingredients for supporting rural communities over the long term. We’re building resiliency into rural communities throughout northern B.C.”

Dustin Hotte, vice-president, DH Manufacturing Inc. –

“We cannot thank the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund enough for helping us complete the expansion of our new building and automated finger joint. The new equipment increases productivity, grade and recovery, all while greatly reducing the physical demand on employees. Completion of this project will bring stability to the company and to our town that has been shaken by the challenging times of the lumber industry.”

Clayton John Charleyboy, registered forest technologist, Tsi Del Del Development Corporation –

“Thanks to the support of the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund, we've transformed our infrastructure to not only produce more economically viable products but also to minimize waste from our biomass operations. This initiative is crucial in our efforts to cultivate opportunities within forests devastated by catastrophic wildfires.”

Kevin Hodgins, president, Prolenc Manufacturing Inc. –

“We are excited to have the support of the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund for this project. This leading-edge technology will allow us to grow on the world market for our products, streamline our processes and increase jobs in our community.”

Learn More:

To learn more about Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program and see a list of approved intake 2 projects, visit: https://gov.bc.ca/redip

To learn about the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/economic-development/support-organizations-community-partners/rural-economic-development/manufacturing-jobs-fund

To learn more about Clean and Competitive: A Blueprint for B.C.’s Industrial Future, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Clean_and_Competitive.pdf

A backgrounder follows.

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
Media Relations
250 883-2068
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER
For Immediate Release
2024JEDI0027-000750
May 15, 2024
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
What to know about REDIP and BCMJF

REDIP:

  • Communities can receive REDIP funding through three streams:
    • Economic diversification – Projects that plan or implement programs, services and infrastructure to support economic development and diversification in communities with populations of 25,000 or less (maximum funding: $1 million).
    • Economic capacity – Projects that build local capacity and improve the ability to support economic development and diversification in communities with populations of 2,500 or fewer (maximum funding: $100,000).
    • Forest impact transition – Projects that support economic recovery and diversification in affected forest-dependent communities (maximum funding: $500,000).

BCMJF:

  • The BCMJF supports high-value industrial and manufacturing capital projects in all sectors that will create and protect well-paying jobs.
  • The BCMJF has committed as much as $91.3 million to B.C.’s manufacturing sector, supporting 81 organizations to expand and grow.
  • Funds committed to date through BCMJF will help create more than 1,100 jobs and protect nearly 2,000 existing manufacturing jobs in B.C., of which 2,500 are in the forestry sector.
 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
Media Relations
250 883-2068
 

 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect