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PRESS RELEASE: Recovery Funding will Support Economic Development in Clearwater

2023-05-31 — (Clearwater, BC) The District of Clearwater is pleased to announce that it has received $75,000 in funding from the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) to support economic development in the community. The grant is part of the Forest Impact Recovery (FIR) program, with financial support from the Province of BC’s Rural Business and Community Recovery Initiative, to assist rural communities as they take on the challenging task of rebuilding their economic portfolios in response to the ongoing changes in the forest industry.

“Clearwater was fortunate that the Trans Mountain project came along relatively soon after the mill closed here,” said Clearwater Mayor Merlin Blackwell. “We’ve been buoyed along temporarily by the pipeline expansion for several years now, but that is coming to an end. This grant funding comes at a perfect time to help us transition to what comes next for our local economy, to look at something new and diverse.”

The FIR program is assisting communities like Clearwater by providing funding to create Forest Impact Recovery Advisor positions. For the District of Clearwater, this funding will go towards the employment of an Economic Development Officer to help enhance local capacity to create and implement community economic recovery plans, support local businesses and establish new opportunities for growth. Recent mill closure or curtailments, loss of forest sector employers, declining fibre supply, significant wildfire seasons, pine beetle infestations and caribou habitat protection are examples of various “forest impacts” within these affected communities.

ETSI-BC was created in 2006 with a $50 million endowment to assist in the growth and diversification of the economy of the Southern Interior of BC. The Trust is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, receiving input from Regional Advisory Committees made up of elected officials from both the Thompson-Okanagan and Columbia-Kootenay regions.

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For more information contact:
Chief Administrative Officer
(250) 674-2257