The 2019 BC Budget, released on February 19, is catching the attention of the British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA), an organization that provides support and advice to Economic Development Cowichan.
BCEDA is committed to working with the Government of BC on initiatives to help improve local and indigenous economies. In a February 19 press release, BCEDA highlighted the status of the following BC government ministries of relevance to the Cowichan region:
- Jobs, Trade and Technology: The budget for fiscal 2019/2020 remains unchanged at $97 million.
- Tourism, Arts, and Culture: The budget for fiscal 2019/2020 has been increased to $164 million from $144 million.
- Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development: FLNRORD is receiving $10 Million over three years to support the Coast Forest Sector Revitalization Initiative. This funding will support the objectives of diversifying forest tenures and manufacturing, increasing domestic timber processing and collaborating and consulting with Indigenous governments, industry committees, and other stakeholders.
- Expanding Access to Technology Training Programs: $5 million in annual funding will be provided for post-secondary institution grants in 2021/22 to support technology programming.
- Connecting BC: $50 million in 2018/19 is allocated to the Connecting BC program with the intent of leveraging funding from the CRTC Broadband fund. High-speed internet access will be expanded to more than 200 rural and Indigenous communities to enable them to participate in today’s economy.
- Tourism, Arts, and Culture will get $57 million over three years. One of the mandates for the ministry will be to further support professional artists and community organizations.
- The Rural Dividend fund program is remaining in place with a commitment of $25 Million. The Province’s Rural Development program is located within the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development.
For more information on the British Columbia Economic Development Association and their analysis of the 2019 BC budget, visit the BCEDA website at https://www.bceda.ca/