Premier John Horgan and Minister of Finance Carole James announce B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan during a press conference at Phillips Brewery in Victoria, B.C., on Sept. 17, 2020. (The Canadian Press/Chad Hipolito)

Premier John Horgan and Minister of Finance Carole James announce B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan during a press conference at Phillips Brewery in Victoria, B.C., on Sept. 17, 2020. (The Canadian Press/Chad Hipolito)

Agassiz, Harrison get funding in economic restart cash from upper levels of government

FVRD gets $1.36 million out of $425 million distributed provincewide

The District of Kent and Village of Harrison Hot Springs are receiving nearly $1.9 million and $675,000 as part of federal and provincial government pandemic economic restart cash.

The money being distributed to municipalities across B.C. is part of the federal government’s “Safe Restart Agreement”, a federal investment of more than $19 billion to the provinces “safely restart their economies and make our country more resilient to possible future surges in cases of COVID-19.”

The provincial government then distributed $425 million to the municipalities and regional districts through its economic recovery plan announced in September.

RELATED: ‘We don’t want to shut people down’ for COVID-19, John Horgan says

The Fraser Valley Regional District gets $1.36 million in the dole out.

“I am very pleased to see the speed at which the federal and provincial governments have delivered this funding to local governments in B.C.,” Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) president Brian Frenkel said in a press release.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, local governments have taken steps to manage costs and rethink budgets, but communities are contending with significant revenue shortfalls. These funds will be available for immediate use and provide greater clarity as budgets are developed for the coming year.”

The federal/provincial funding will support facility reopening and operational costs along with local emergency response.

RELATED: B.C. company to start making N95-equivalent medical masks

UBCM and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) lobbied for federal funding from Canada as far back as April. This followed upon UBCM’s outreach to the provincial government on the financial impacts on local governments due to COVID-19, and the decision by the province to provide liquidity to local government through a package of amendments to the property tax framework.

Funding details are still being developed for additional funding through the Safe Restart Agreement, according to the UBCM press release. This includes additional funding for B.C. local governments, including $100 million to support local governments as they address the needs of vulnerable populations and $15 million to improve development approval processes.

– With files from Adam Louis

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