Children dance around a May Pole at the 90th Boston Bar and North Bend May Days festival Saturday. The community has gotten just under $2 million to restore the historic CN station house. Hope Standard file photo

Feds, province fund three major infrastructure projects in Hope area

Millions flowing to Yale and Shxw’owhamel first nations, and Boston Bar

Millions of dollars will be flowing to three communities in Hope and area, to fund a Yale First Nation community centre, a refurbished Station House in Boston Bar and ball fields and a playground at Shxw’owhamel First Nation.

The funding, announced Friday, is a joint federal and B.C. government initiative to stimulate local economices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure plan, 21 projects in the Lower Mainland are sharing the $44.5 million in federal and $19.2 million in provincial funding. Several of the applicants are also putting in funds.

Yale First Nation received close to $3-million in federal funding to build a multi-use recreation centre. The first nation is contributing just under $1-million of their own money to the project that will include a “gymnasium, outdoor play area, washrooms, change rooms, youth worker space, community kitchen, fitness centre and meeting room” according to a Friday Government of Canada news release.

The communities of Boston Bar and North Bend received just under $2-million to restore the CN station house in the community. With over $1.14 million coming from the feds and $763,000 from the province, the project is fully funded by the two levels of government. Plans for the build, according to Friday’s release, involve renovating the building inside, upgrading it to meet codes and standards and including ramp access as well as parking. The station house will become a rest stop and museum “to showcase the unique railway and cultural heritage” the release stated.

Shxw’owhamel First Nation will be building a spray park and playground, as well as lighted slo-pitch and soccer fields. They received $1.9 million from the feds and are putting in $648,000 of their own funding.

The money also went to 19 other community infrastructure projects in the Lower Mainland, including the restoration of historic buildings, construction of culture and performance spaces, sports facilities and even a new bridge outside Squamish.

Nine of the funded projects are in Indigenous communities, including $2-million in federal funding for a new cultural center and longhouse at Seabird Island Indian Band. The multi-use centre will include “an arts room, kitchen, carving room, open carving shed, accessible washrooms, pow wow grounds and round room,” according to the Friday news release.

Leq’á:mel First Nation are also funded to build a longhouse and smoke house on the Skweahm reserve, with $1.8-million in funding from the federal government.

This isn’t the last batch of money coming to communities, with further announcements in the coming months the release stated.

Pick up next week’s Hope Standard (July 16) for details about these infrastructure projects.

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