Regional districts in B.C. will receive $10 million to support local services and operations, building on the historic COVID-19 relief and recovery supports provided to communities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all our lives and local governments are on the front line, which is why we have already delivered hundreds of millions directly to communities to support them through restart and recovery,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “We’ve partnered with communities to deliver the critical services people count on, and now we’re further boosting support to regional districts to make sure we continue to reach people in every corner of British Columbia.”
The safe restart funding is part of the Province’s ongoing work to give local governments the tools they need to provide the essential services people count on in their communities.
The COVID-19 Safe Restart operating grants will deliver an additional $10 million in funding shared among the 27 regional districts in the province by the end of March 2021. The funding will assist regional districts with the delivery of regional and local services that have been impacted by COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Safe Restart Agreement is providing $540 million in direct support to B.C. local governments to help communities manage the impacts of the pandemic. The Province distributed $415 million in COVID-19 Safe Restart grants to all 188 local governments in B.C. in November 2020 to help with operating costs and respond to pressures caused by the pandemic.
Since then, the provincial government has continued to provide funding to local governments, including a $100-million program to support people experiencing homelessness and strengthen communities, and a $15-million program to improve the efficiency of development approvals to get the housing people need built faster in communities throughout the province. Applications for those programs are open through the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
The Safe Restart Agreement is funded equally by the governments of B.C. and Canada.