BC Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne said the extra funds were meant to build on earlier grants by the province and federal government last November. Westerly file photo

BC Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne said the extra funds were meant to build on earlier grants by the province and federal government last November. Westerly file photo

Local governments in B.C. to split $10M in extra COVID restart funds, says Municipal Affairs Minister

Minister Josie Osborne said the money will be split among B.C’s 27 regional districts

Communities across B.C. will get an additional $10 million in COVID safe restart grants, the provincial government announced Monday, March 22.

The extra money, to be split among the province’s 27 regional districts, will supplement last November’s $540 million in provincial and federal restart grants to local governments, according to BC Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne.

READ MORE: Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

The funding bump comes roughly a month after Osborne said she’d heard feedback from regional directors and heads of local governments she said were struggling with economic recovery post-COVID.

“Literally, the check is in the mail and the funds are on their way,” Osborne told The Grand Forks Gazette Monday, March 22.

READ MORE: UBCM chair still waiting to hear from the province about COVID Safe ReStart grants

The $10 million will be divided between regional districts according to a population-based formula which Osborne said afforded special attention to rural communities. “We know that services are more expensive to provide in rural areas,” she noted.

The funds are being made available through equal contributions by Ottawa and Victoria, she explained.

Local governments are meanwhile eligible for $100 million in provincial grants toward strengthening community services for vulnerable populations, especially those experiencing homelessness, she added. The grant program is being run by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), which Osborne said is accepting grant applications until April 16.

Program funds can be used to bolster a wide variety of services, including the expansion of homeless shelters and other protective outreach programs.

Osborne said she had seen UBCM director Grace McGregor’s open letter to BC government officials, including Minister Osborne, asking to see a breakdown of the formula the province first used to divvy up COVID restart grants. Osborne said she would follow up with her staff about responding to McGregor’s letter.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Earth Day, Cowichan Valley residents are being asked to clean up where they are. (File photo)
Cowichan ‘Clean Where You Are’ campaign starts on Earth Day

Take a bag, one glove, long tongs, and go pick up!

City of Duncan considering an average 3.51 per cent tax increase for 2021. (File photo)
Duncan considers average 3.51% tax increase for 2021

Homeowners would see a $43 increase over last year

North Cowichan councillor Kate Marsh. (File photo)
North Cowichan postpones decision on cell tower placement

But cell tower policy may be developed soon

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read