The Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society will implement the recommendations of the northern development fund advisory board. As recommended by the advisory board, the society board will give priority to projects in the Nechako region and Kitamaat Village. A $5-million working fund will be set up immediately to support loan and grant programs, and $10 million will be invested to build a $15-million legacy fund.
"The society board is made up of representatives of the North — the fund is for the North and will be managed by people from the North," said Miller. "The board, including representatives for the Haisla Nation and people living in and around the Nechako region, will work together to create jobs and build the regional economy."
"I am pleased that this northern fund will be run by people from the North," added Paul Ramsey, minister responsible for the B.C.-Alcan 1997 agreement. "The fund will directly benefit the regional economy and create opportunities for northern communities."
Society board members appointed for a two-year term are:
Members appointed for a one-year term are:
"I congratulate the new members — they have important work ahead of them," said Miller. "I am confident they will do a good job of implementing the recommendations of the advisory committee and supporting regional economic development.
"I also commend the work of the advisory board. They have done an excellent job in providing a solid foundation for the society to build on."
"It is important for the Haisla Nation to be represented on the board and for its needs to be addressed," added Skeena MLA Helmut Giesbrecht. "I am glad to see this opportunity for strong participation by Kitamaat Village residents."
"The interests of the Lakes district will be well represented," said Bulkley Valley-Stikine MLA Bill Goodacre. "Mr. Blackwell has a wealth of knowledge of the area and is well aware of the economic needs of the Lakes district."
The society board’s first meeting is scheduled for this month. Its first task will be to translate the advisory board’s recommendations into a business plan. Once the minister responsible for northern development approves the plan, the provincial government will transfer funds to the society board. The society board will continue to be funded annually on the basis of an approved business plan.
The northern development fund was created in 1997 as a part of an agreement between the provincial government and Alcan to promote sustainable economic development in northwestern B.C. communities affected by the Kitimat-Kemano project and by the creation of the Nechako Reservoir.
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Contact: Debbie Parhar, Co-ordinator
Communications - (250) 952-0525
For more information on Northern Development Fund, visit our Web page at http://www.ndf.gov.bc.ca on the Internet.
For more information on the Ministry of Energy and Mines, visit our Web page at http://www.em.gov.bc.ca on the Internet.
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
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