The Craigflower Schoolhouse as it was in the late 19th century, built for children from nearby Craigflower Farm. The federal and provincial governments are helping to fund a community centre on the Craigflower Manor property. (BC Heritage Branch photo)

Greater Victoria infrastructure get millions in investments to help with economic recovery

New community spaces, health centre, turf fields coming for region

Infrastructure projects across Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island are getting a boost from the provincial and federal governments.

Infrastructure Canada says the investment will support economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic as the projects get underway. Funding for 22 projects in Island communities was announced by ministers on Friday, July 3. The projects include improvements to community centres, health centres, stormwater management, drinking water and wastewater facilities, cultural facilities and social support hubs.

READ ALSO: Soccer club hopes to score funds for turf fields in North Saanich

In Saanich, two artificial turf playing fields will be replaced at Hampton Park for the Gorge Soccer Association. The project is receiving $280,000 in federal funding, $175,00 in provincial funding and $245,000 in funding from the applicant.

The construction of a Pauquachin Legacy Gathering Place for the expression and exploration of the Coast Salish and WSANEC peoples’ traditional culture and history will go forward with about $6.3 million in federal funding and $2.1 million from the Pauquachin First Nation. The project includes a new unheated Big House, a heated and fully serviced band hall, new roof-mounted solar photovoltaic arrays and a back-up generator as well as landscaping and lighting.

A pre-fabricated kitchen and dining facility in Sooke with accessible washrooms and showers for Scouts Canada at Camp Barnard will receive about $260,000 in federal funds, nearly $163,000 in provincial funds and about $228,000 in applicant funds. A multi-use sport box with concrete pads, washrooms and bleachers, an emergency road and parking will also be constructed in the Sunriver area with the use of about $487,000 in federal funding, $405,000 in provincial funding and $325,000 in applicant funds.

The T’Sou-ke Nation will receive a community complex and health centre including a community hall, kitchen, outdoor patio, offices, washrooms and an elevator. This facility will receive about $3.8 million in federal funds and about $1.3 million in applicant funds.

In View Royal, the Craigflower Manor heritage property will receive a new community centre with a central communal meeting area and multi-purpose meeting rooms. This project will be funded with about $1.7 million from the federal government, $1 million from the province and $1.5 million from the Victoria Highland Games Association.

READ ALSO: Plans underway for community centre at Craigflower Manor

The Victoria Cool Aid Society will also receive a new arts studio space with workstations to support vulnerable and marginalized community members as well as the installation of a security system. The federal government is putting about $430,000 into this project, the province is funding about $269,000 of it and the remaining $376,565 is coming from applicant funding.

The federal government is contributing more than $33.2 million to projects on the Island and the province is contributing over $8.7 million, according to Infrastructure Canada. Individual applicants are contributing more than $12.2 million to the projects. Eight of the projects are also in Indigenous communities, which will receive more than $23.2 million in federal and provincial funding.

“Investing in community centres, recreation and cultural facilities means children and youth will have a safe place to play and learn, seniors have a place to meet, our clubs and groups can have a home,” said federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna. “These facilities build strong, dynamic communities where people want to put down roots and do business. Together with the province, we are supporting projects that will create jobs and bring residents new facilities and programs that will make a real difference in people’s lives for years to come.”

The federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan involves more than $180 billion being invested over 12 years in projects across the country. Working with B.C., more than $134 million is being provided for the first intake of the project applications under the Community Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream and more than $94 million is being provided for the first intake under the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream.

The second intake for both streams was announced on June 25 with up to $100.6 million in funding available for the culture and recreation stream and up to $58.7 million for the rural and northern communities stream. Applications for the first stream are due on Oct. 1 and Oct. 22 for the second.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


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