NKDF Society chair Mike Robertson said, "The Nechako Kitamaat Development Fund Society continues to support a vast array of diverse projects throughout the investment area. We recognize the importance of building and maintaining strong communities and the NKDF has become an important player in the investment area.”
Kitamaat Village Council is lauding the influx of funds as an opportunity to initiate development of a break-bulk port facility; attract visitors to the community with a music festival; as well as instituting water testing that will potentially open the door for a potential shellfish business. The Council leadership is also pleased to be able to proceed with the development of a band-owned construction service will employ band members while providing valuable service to the region.
The City of Vanderhoof has benefited by receiving NKDFS contributions for airport rehabilitation;, to build a park along Highway 16; for hosting a local film festival; as well as the development of a Mary John Collection at the public library.
The Village of Burns Lake has received contributions toward the expansion of the public library and the development of Noarse Park. Other NKDFS contributions were aimed at improving medical services to the Southside area; improvements to the Fraser Lake arena ; a cross-country ski feasibility study for Fraser Lake; a regional container opportunity study; a regional economic development forum in Prince George: a ‘resort’ study to identify and analyze gaps in the region; and funds to assist in the installation of telecommunications infrastructure in Fort Fraser and Francois Lake area.
“The funding that has been made available through the NKDF this year has went to support a wide variety of important community-based projects in the region,” said Northern Caucus Chair John Rustad. “I look forward to seeing the benefits of these projects in the future.” said Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad.
Paul Henning, Alcan’s Director of Operations for British Columbia is very satisfied by the extent and diversity of projects that the NKDFS is able to fund. “These kinds of projects are exactly what the NKDFS mandate is all about. Through this fund, Alcan is pleased to be able to enhance the company’s involvement and participation in the communities where we operate.”
The Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society was jointly established in 1997 with a combined contribution of $15 million by the government of British Columbia and Alcan Inc. The Fund’s investment area includes lands impacted by the original Kemano project and focuses on those communities in the Nechako and Haisla regions of the north.
The Society encourages applications from local governments and legally incorporated non-profit organizations. NKDF invests in projects that create sustainable employment, diversify the economy, and improve the basic infrastructure needed for community stability, quality of life and growth.
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
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