Substantial Increase In Local Government Grants

by NationTalk on April 15, 2007711 Views

For Immediate Release
April 14, 2007

Ministry of Community Services

QUALICUM BEACH – The province is significantly increasing unconditional grants to local government, providing a total of $40 million this year alone, part of a continuing commitment to double the grants that help British Columbia’s smaller municipalities provide important services to residents, said Community Services Minister Ida Chong.

“Over the last two years, we’ve increased funding by fifty per cent to help local governments ensure their communities are vibrant and sustainable, now and in the future,” said Chong. “This year’s increase is the second step in fulfilling the Premier’s commitment to doubling the Small Community Grants program by 2009, to a total yearly commitment of $54 million.”The two unconditional local government grants announced are:

· Small Community Grants: $36.9 million for small and medium-sized municipalities to fund local and basic services. The grant allocation is based on a formula with three elements: basic funding for all municipalities with a population of less than 15,000, population-based funding, and property assessment-based funding.

· Regional District Grants: $3 million to regional districts.

The Small Community and Regional District Grants are part of a series of programs available to local governments to help provide services and infrastructure. This includes over $50 million for the annual Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Program, which sees traffic fine revenue returned to municipalities to enhance policing and public safety; as well as $83.5 million in total for the new Green Cities Projects:

· Towns for Tomorrow a three-year, $21-million program providing infrastructure funding for B.C.’s smaller communities;

· LocalMotion providing $40 million over four years for projects that support cycling and pedestrian pathways, to reduce air pollution, improve physical fitness and safety and meet the diverse needs of British Columbians including seniors and people with disabilities;

· B.C. Spirit Squares a $20-million program aimed at creating or enhancing outdoor public celebration spaces; and

· Green City Awards providing $2.5 million over five years recognizing local governments that encourage physical activity, energy conservation and environmental benefits.


1 Backgrounder attached.

Media contact:

Marc Black
Ministry of Community Services
250 356-6334

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