The Katzie First Nation will be receiving almost $700,000 to design and upgrade the Grant Narrows Marina in Pitt Meadows.
Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), Harjit S. Sajjan, announced on Wednesday, May 24, that Katzie will get $682,500 for the marina.
“Katzie First Nation is very pleased to receive support from the Government of Canada. The funding will support our nation and its economic development arm to help enhance and re-develop the PAWMA (Pitt Addington Wildlife Management Area) / Grant Narrows boat launch,” said Katzie First Nation Chief Grace George in response to the announcement, noting that the nation also just signed a long-term lease agreement with the province of B.C. to manage the area.
“This project will support the nation in developing a more self-sufficient economy, support current and future tourism related activities within the Upper Pitt, and advance the process of reconciliation,” said Chief George.
The marina at Grant Narrows has been in disrepair for years and was a key reason the Katzie Development Limited Partnership, KDLP, stopped managing the area in May 2020, after operating the site for nine years. At the time, Katzie said there were liability issues with the docks, which they described as unstable.
The provincial government tried to find new operators for the “vacant Crown lands at Grant Narrows,” as the B.C. Ministry of Forests calls the area, but came up empty handed.
In July 2021, the province put up signs advising boaters the docks were closed due to safety concerns, and to remove all moored boats. By the end of last year, two dilapitated docks were removed.
In January, KDLP announced they would once again be managing the site after striking a deal with the province.
Chief George acknowledged the province had removed all unsafe infrastructure, and had made repairs to the boat launch that ensured its safety until a future date when it would be fully replaced.
Nine projects across B.C. will be receiving part of $3.1 million in federal funding, to mark Canada’s first Economic Development Week. Four of the projects will support Indigenous tourism, like the marina, which is a transportation hub for tourists who are canoeing, exploring nature, or visiting a local wilderness lodge, said the federal economic development agency PacifiCan.
Included in the funding is $1.8 million for four projects through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund; $1 million for three projects funded through the Tourism Relief Fund; and one project through each of the Regional Innovation Ecosystems and Community Economic Development and Diversification programs.
Other communities receiving federal funding include Anmore, Salt Spring Island, Agassiz. and Rosedale. By investing in the various projects, the Canadian government is hoping to help communities and businesses across British Columbia welcome visitors from near and far, improve community wellness, create jobs, and grow the local economy.
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