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Governments of Canada and B.C. Invest in Jobs

MERRITT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 19, 2010) - The Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board, Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Minister responsible for British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Canada announced an investment of $744,703 to benefit Nicola Similkameen Innovative Forestry Society.

"The Government of Canada, through the Community Adjustment Fund, is providing a timely, targeted stimulus to western Canadian communities, reducing the impacts of the global recession," said Minister Day. "This project will create jobs and maintain employment in Merritt, helping our community overcome the challenges currently facing our region."

 "The Job Opportunities Program has played a vital role in helping laid-off resource workers maintain and build their skills through short-term employment opportunities," said Ben Stewart, British Columbia Minister of Community and Rural Development. "This announcement is another example of what we can accomplish when governments, communities and businesses come together to find innovative ways to solve some of our most pressing challenges."

The Nicola Similkameen Innovative Forestry Services will be undertaking a project in the Merritt area and another in the Cascades Forest District. With federal and provincial funding of $231,230 the Society will thin tree stands, prune trees and assess dangerous trees in and around Merritt. Work activities will also include quality control inspections, effectiveness monitoring and equipment and safety training. Funding for this project is being provided under the Job Opportunities Program. This is one of 45 projects announced Friday, totalling $10 million, to benefit unemployed resource workers across British Columbia.

The second project will be undertaken thanks to a federal investment of $363,173, provided under the Community Adjustment Fund. With this funding, the Society will perform ecosystem and environmental restoration work in the Cascades Forest District. This project will reduce the risk of forest fires, create immediate short-term employment and provide training opportunities for local residents.

The Nicola Similkameen Innovative Forestry Society is an umbrella organization where major licensees work closely with First Nation communities in the co-management of natural resources.

The three-year $86.25-million Job Opportunities Program, now in its final year, was first announced in May 2008 as a component of the Community Development Trust through funding provided by the Government of Canada. In July 2009, the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia each committed up to an additional $30 million towards the program.

The Government of Canada's contribution to the Job Opportunities Program supports project costs that meet all the federal requirements for funding under the Community Adjustment Fund. The federal contribution under Canada's Economic Action Plan will help stimulate the economy and keep Canadians working during the economic downturn.

The Province of British Columbia's contribution to the Job Opportunities Program is part of its commitment to provide stability for workers and communities, maintain the workforce during the economic downturn, and help British Columbians gain new skills to be successful in the future.

A part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Community Adjustment Fund is a two-year, $1-billion national program that will provide an economic stimulus by supporting projects that create jobs and maintain employment in rural communities.

Visit the Community Adjustment Fund in the West, the Job Opportunities Program or Canada's Economic Action Plan for more information.

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province's news feeds using RSS, visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca





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