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Ottawa and Victoria fund several projects, including Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park upgrades

Ottawa and Victoria are teaming up with the Lheidli T’enneh to develop recreation facilities and amenities in the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park east of Prince George.

Ottawa is committing $6.5 million, Victoria $1.3 million, and the Lheidli T’enneh $870,000 for improvements including new riparian wetland hiking trails, interpretive centre, sweat lodge, pit house, gazebo and improved accessible amenities such as boardwalks, pathways, washrooms, access roads, parking and signage.

“On September 1, 2018, LTN and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together collaboratively on the planning and management of the park,” said Clayton Pountney, Lheidli T’enneh chief. “We appreciate the federal and B.C. government supporting this very important initiative. Supporting this project is indicative of B.C.’s commitment to work with our nation, it also acknowledges that as stewards of our territory we have innate knowledge of the biodiversity and symbiotic relationship that exists within Chun T’oh Whudujut and the surrounding areas. “

Lheidli T’enneh Community Economic Development Manager, Rena Zatorski adds: “Chun T’oh Whudujut is the only inland temperate rainforest in the world.  This project will allow us to share an area of our territory that is very special to us.  We intend to ensure that the visitor experience is memorable, respectful, and life-changing.  This project will also provide new opportunities for our members not only during construction and development but in the long-term as guides and interpreters so we see this as very much a win-win-win for both governments and our nation.”

Lheidli T’enneh also acknowledged UNBC, the Caledonia Ramblers, Tourism Prince George, Indigenous Tourism BC, Pacific Institute of Climate Solutions, Karyn Sharp of Little Frog Consulting, the Yarmish family and BC Parks in their contributions and support of this project.

The funding comes through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Canada is investing more than $49.9 million in these projects through the Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS) and the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS). The Government of British Columbia is contributing more than $15.4 million and the applicants (municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profits) are contributing more than $11.5 million.

Also under the program, the Salteau First Nation is receiving $11 million in federal money for the construction of a community centre including a gathering space, fitness centre, meeting rooms, kitchen, washrooms, offices, and an art space to accommodate gatherings, fitness programs, courses, training, cultural programs and social activities.

The Doig River First Nation is receiving $906,000 for the construction of a dance circle including foundation, earthworks, seating, arbour and canopy.

The City of Fort St. John is receiving $1 million in federal funding and $875,000 in provincial funding for the construction of a permanent all-season gathering space to accommodate markets, festivals, celebrations and arts and cultural events. The project includes a shed-style overhead structure, public washrooms, artistic obelisk structures, creative lighting, outdoor performance space, a moveable stage and landscaping.

Fraser Lake is receiving $889,000 in federal funding and $593,000 in provincial funding for the construction of a fourth lagoon for flow equalization in the Fraser Lake wastewater treatment system including site preparation and grubbing, storm sewer, replacement of existing manhole, construction of a sanitary lift station and sanitary main from the lift station to flow control manhole, and installation of overflow piping, construction of perimeter fencing, and final grading of site.

Valemount is receiving $191,000 in federal money and $111,000 in provincial funding for the replacement of an ammonia chiller at the Canoe Valley Recreation Centre including installation of a new chiller, valves, controls, piping, oil pot, pumps, insulation, safety monitoring system, signage, lighting, and integration of heat recovery system.

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