Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Funding for Hemp Pilot Project; Cultural Centre Study

by NationTalk on April 25, 2008779 Views

The Government of Canada is investing almost $450,000 for two local projects to help 100 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch diversify their local economies and help manage the economic impacts of the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation.The funding was announced today by Betty Hinton, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources and Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages. The majority of funding is provided through the Community Economic Diversification Initiative (CEDI), a component of the federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program.

“The Government of Canada is helping B.C. communities to not only survive the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, but to thrive, said MP Hinton. “Our Government’s investments in these two projects will bring 100 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch one step closer to a more sustainable, diversified local economy.”

“The project announced today is an example of how the Government of Canada is addressing the needs of communities affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation,” said Minister Lunn. “Through this support, our government is helping impacted communities turn challenges into economic opportunities.”

A federal investment of $235,665 will help the District of 100 Mile House launch a hemp production pilot project. This project will assess the viability of an industrial hemp processing facility, and includes the production of 200 acres of industrial hemp crop demonstrations, product development and test marketing. An alternative source of fibre, industrial hemp can be used in the development of construction products such as particleboard, insulation materials, and countertops.

An additional federal investment of $149,800 through CEDI will support the Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society to study the feasibility of a regional First Nations Cultural Centre. The Department of Canadian Heritage is also providing $62,687 for this initiative.

“This project is an excellent example of culture and the arts contributing to the economic well-being of our communities,” said Minister Verner.

Managed by Western Economic Diversification Canada, CEDI will invest more than $33 million over two years in communities most at risk from the beetle infestation. The program supports a wide range of projects that further economic growth, job creation and future community sustainability.

The CEDI program is part of the Government of Canada’s $200 million comprehensive response to mitigate the short-term and long-term effects of the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation on B.C.’s forestry sector. This federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program is led by Natural Resources Canada, in collaboration with Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and Transport Canada.

Western Economic Diversification Canada is a department of the Government of Canada that works in partnership with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada.

For more information on the federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program, please visit: http://mpb.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/publications_e.html

For additional information, contact:

Tom Wakefield
Communications Officer
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Tel: (604) 666-2445
Cell: (604) 218-4395

Carollyne Evans
District of 100 Mile House
(250) 395-2434

Graham Leslie
Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society
(250) 791-7267

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