VICTORIA, B.C. - Today, Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, tabled an amendment to the North Island Coastal Development Initiative Trust Act (the Act).
“The Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICE-T) funds important community projects across the coast, like the Hornby Island Arts Centre, the Parksville Outdoor Theatre, the downtown revitalization in Campbell River, the Cortes commercial commons, and the Gabriola Island Quick Start Projects,” said MLA Olsen.
“This trust was funded through a one-time allocation amount, and that’s running out. Despite serious advocacy showing the need for the continued funding, the BC NDP have chosen, just today, to kick the can down the road. It will only be a matter of time before ICET is at risk of closing once more.
“ICET has been advocating for a permanent fund of $150 million for months, and instead this government offers $10 million to come in late 2023 or early 2024 following amended legislation.
“With the amendments I’m tabling today, there’s no need for the BC NDP to wait until the fall to act. These amendments get rid of the cap on funding, giving them no excuse to not top the funding up to the amount ICET has requested.
“Similar trusts in the Interior and North have long-term financial instruments that they use to leverage investments in their communities. It’s time that the Coast has the same sustainable model.
“I call on Minister Bailey to bring these amendments to debate and explain to coastal communities why this government is allowing this fund to die out.”
For more details, see MLA Olsen’s letter to Minister Bailey sent on February 23, 2023.
B.C. Green Caucus
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