Provincial program frames vision for rural region
For every dollar invested in connectivity infrastructure in the Kootenay region it was estimated to generate $14 in returns to the gross domestic product in the long term, a Provincial study found.
That was one of the nuggets unearthed by the Province as part of its rural vision — Good Lives, Strong Communities — released recently in Osoyoos by Premier David Eby.
The 64-page document outlined key goals intending to connect every community in B.C. to high-speed internet, improving local highways, ferries and transit to move people and goods, and expanding remote work in government so people can stay in their chosen communities.
“Rural communities need unique supports to deliver the solutions they need,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development and Boundary resident, Roly Russell, in a statement. “This vision helps provide the lens to enable that strong foundation for our rural places.”
That lens is focussed on rural, Interior, coastal and First Nations communities — including the West Kootenay — and includes some new projects and programs, but also highlights many that are already underway or have been recently completed.
Some of the broad themes include:
- building a strong, skilled rural workforce;
- to grow crops and the economy while mitigating the risks of climate change;
- revitalizing and renewing resource industries;
- developing world-class tourism experiences; and
- ensuring there are clean waters and abundant fisheries.
No specific projects and programs were announced for Nelson or the rural region bounding the city.