The BC Government is creating a new fund to help diversify local economies and promote value-added innovation.
The government will be investing as much as $90 million over three years through the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund, supporting high-value industrial and manufacturing projects.
“These investments in rural BC will help create sustainable, secure good paying jobs,” said Premier David Eby.
The fund will support established for-profit organizations to plan and launch shovel-ready projects that bring direct benefits and stable, family-supporting jobs to regional and Indigenous communities.
“Our whole province benefits when local workers and their families can build good lives in the rural communities they call home,” Eby said.
“The money is going to go where it’s needed most, to areas affected, that have experienced economic impacts from changes in the forestry sector for example.”
For example, the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund could provide funding to a forestry company that needs to buy new equipment to support new product lines, or a company that wants to build or expand a plastics-alternative manufacturing facility in a rural community.
“What this fund is about, it’s not about government deciding, ‘we think this is the area or we think this is the area,’ this is about ‘bring us your best proposals,” Eby said.
The fund will have two streams of funding, a project readiness stream, and the capital investment stream.
Under the project readiness stream, the Province will provide up to 50 per cent of of a project to a maximum of $50,000 to help projects that are in the earlier stages of development.
Under the capital investment stream, the province will fund up to an average of a project, with a maximum of $10 million, for projects that are investment ready.
Eby added that he did speak with workers affected by the shutdown of the pulp line of Canfor’s Prince George Pulp and Paper Mill this morning. (Tuesday)
“We will be standing with them and supporting them through this incredibly difficult time for them and their families, the provincial government is there for them,” Eby said.
“We will be reaching out to Canfor to have similar conversations with them to make sure this transition for those workers is as painless as possible for them.”