Tourism Golden/Dave Best

Grant allows Golden to plan river access

The BC government is providing $100,000 so Golden can move forward with a new access option.

The British Columbia government is providing $100,000 so the Town of Golden can move forward with a new access option after the lower canyon of the Kicking Horse River was closed to the whitewater-rafting industry, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, announced Tuesday.

The funding is part of more than $10.1 million being awarded to 90 eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations under the BC Rural Dividend program.

“This funding will help Golden find a long-term solution so commercial river rafting can continue to contribute to the local economy and create jobs – now and for the next generation,” Donaldson said,

In 2016, the Canadian Pacific Railway closed access to the lower Kicking Horse River. The town had earlier received $10,000 to study the feasibility of alternate access and will use the current funding for consultation, regulatory applications and preliminary design for the recommended option – modification of the river channel.

The Rural Dividend program provides grants of up to $100,000 each for single applicants, and up to $500,000 for partnerships to help rural communities stabilize their economies and create long-term local employment.

The program is under review and the Province is determining how best to distribute the remaining Rural Dividend funds, taking into account the community impacts of this year’s wildfire season and other exceptional circumstances.

Rural development activities support the government’s commitment to building a strong, sustainable and innovative economy that creates well-paying jobs for all British Columbians.

Quick Facts:

* Projects were assessed and approved based on the following criteria:

* Rural communities most in need

* Improved community resiliency and economic strength

* Partnership building and enhanced shared prosperity

* Project feasibility and sustainability

* Economic impact on rural communities

* Attracting and retaining youth

* Innovation in economic development

To learn more on the rural dividend visit www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend or contact Media Relations Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development 250-356-526.

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