Vernon, British Columbia — Colin Mayes, Member of Parliament for Okanagan – Shuswap, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced a federal government investment of $249,000 towards the Okanagan Indian Band to begin developing a local industrial park. Funding is provided under the Community Economic Diversification Initiative (CEDI), a component of the federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program.
"Our government is contributing to the economic diversification of the Okanagan Indian Band by providing the necessary information to assist in developing their land and future industrial park," said Mr. Mayes. "Expanding to new commercial and industrial sectors is a renewal option for Mountain Pine Beetle affected communities seeking to diversify their local economy."
Funding will enable the Okanagan Indian Band to compile information critical to the successful development of infrastructure on the planned N’Kwala Industrial Park. Project activities will include preliminary engineering plans, design drawings, and a pre-design report that will estimate construction costs for the potential development. The project will also conduct a study of local community needs and assets, identify and build consensus on development options and assist the community in managing the transition and change. The end result will provide the necessary foundation for developing the infrastructure required for economic diversification.
“This project will significantly expand the commercial and industrial land base on the Band’s reserves and create many employment and contracting opportunities for our membership and the residents of our neighbouring communities,” said Chief Fabian Alexis. “It will be a giant step towards the achievement of a long standing goal of our community to establish a high quality industrial park in this area.”
Managed by Western Economic Diversification Canada, CEDI will invest more than $33 million over two years towards projects in communities most at risk from the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation. The program supports a wide range of projects that further economic growth, job creation and future community sustainability.
The CEDI program is part of the Government of Canada’s $200 million comprehensive response to mitigate the short- and long-term effects of the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation on B.C.’s forestry sector. This federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program is led by Natural Resources Canada, in collaboration with Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and Transport Canada.
Western Economic Diversification Canada in partnership with the provinces, industry associations, and communities promotes the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represent the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.
For more information on the federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program, please visit: http://mpb.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/