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OSOYOOS – People living in rural British Columbia have a pathway to a stronger future, thanks to a provincial framework to boost connectivity, improve health care and deliver more investments rooted in local realities.
“People in smaller communities in B.C. deserve services designed for them, whether it’s being able to find child care and a good school for their kids, accessing top-notch health and mental-health care, or benefiting from skills-training opportunities or any other public service,” said Premier David Eby. “That’s why we are strengthening services for everyone, while addressing the unique challenges faced by people in rural communities.”
During a town hall in Osoyoos, Premier Eby explained the Province’s rural vision Good Lives, Strong Communities focuses on key goals such as connecting every community in the province to high-speed internet, investing in roads, ferries and transit to move goods and people, and expanding remote work in government so people can stay in their communities.
“The Province is focused on making sure people all over the province have opportunities to build a stronger future,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. “Rural communities need unique supports to deliver the solutions they need. This vision helps provide the lens to enable that strong foundation for our rural places.”
The vision is focused on rural, Interior, coastal and First Nations communities and continues the work underway to build a strong, skilled rural workforce; to grow crops and the economy while mitigating the risks of climate change; revitalizing and renewing resource industries; development of world-class tourism experiences; and ensuring there are clean waters and abundant fisheries.
Pat Corbett-Labatt, mayor of Port Hardy –
“Thank you Premier Eby and your cabinet for recognizing that rural B.C. communities have unique and particular needs that have been neglected. Your new rural plan will lead to a new strong rural B.C. that has services (on par with urban communities). This will make meaningful and transformative improvements to the lives of all rural B.C. citizens and communities. I look forward to many improvements, particularly in increased cell coverage on Highway 19, better highways and transportation, and better health services in Port Hardy.”
Roger Tierney, director, Area B, Kootenay district –
“Wow! As an electoral area director in the central Kootenays, I am very pleased to hear of the provincial government’s investment in rural B.C. I feel the cumulative impact of these initiatives will make a generational change that will benefit everyone living in the rural areas of the province. I look forward to working with the Province to implement this plan, which will result in tangible benefits for our shared constituents.”
Greg Halseth and Marleen Morris, co-directors, Community Development Institute at the University of Northern British Columbia –
“As long-time researchers and advocates for non-metropolitan British Columbia, we were very pleased to read this document. It conveys the ethos that our communities and people need to realize growth and prosperity and the kinds of investments needed for economic success. The future of all British Columbians depends on the vital contributions of strong and vibrant non-metropolitan regions. We look forward to working with the provincial government on these opportunities, as this plan moves forward.”
View Good Lives, Strong Communities here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Good-Lives-Strong-Communities-2023.pdf
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of the Premier