FORT ST. JOHN – BC Hydro today launched an $800,000 fund to support Peace Region non-profit organizations. The Generate Opportunities (GO) Fund will be distributed over an eight-year period to organizations that provide services to vulnerable populations including children, families and seniors.
"We recognize the important role that non-profit organizations play in providing programs and services to the community," said Jessica McDonald, CEO of BC Hydro. "We're really pleased to establish the BC Hydro GO Fund to support Peace Region communities during construction of the Site C project."
The funding — which meets a condition of environmental approval for the Site C project — is targeted to non-profit organizations that serve the communities of Fort St. John, Hudson's Hope, Taylor, Chetwynd, and residents of the Peace River Regional District in Electoral Areas B, C and E.
BC Hydro has been consulting and engaging with local governments and Peace Region non-profit organizations to gather input on the mandate and administration of the fund. Participants were clear that they wanted funding decisions to be made in the region, for the region. Participants also emphasized the importance of minimizing administrative costs to ensure that the majority of the fund would go to helping organizations deliver services to people in need.
Based on the input received, BC Hydro has established a 10-person regional decision-making committee with two appointees from each of the communities and rural areas that the fund will serve. The committee will be responsible for reviewing applications and making all funding approval decisions. The BC Hydro GO Fund will be administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust on behalf of BC Hydro.
"It's good to see communities in the region working in collaboration with BC Hydro to support non-profit organizations," said Mike Bernier, MLA, Peace River South. "This funding will help ensure non-profits in the region have the resources they need and I applaud the efforts of the regional committee."
"Northern Development is pleased to be able to help and support the delivery of these funds to our northeast communities," said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust. "Helping deliver third-party funds has become one of the many ways the Trust has been able to help B.C.'s central and northern communities."
Lori Ackerman, Mayor, City of Fort St. John
"City Council is very pleased that this has come to fruition. We heard loud and clear from the community that one of the priorities was ensuring that our vulnerable and disenfranchised citizens were supported."
Laura Weisgerber, Councillor, District of Chetwynd
"It is very exciting to be part of this committee, with BC Hydro's support and in collaboration with NDIT. Their investment in our local non-profit organizations will secure many programs that may otherwise not succeed."
Nicole Gilliss, Councillor, District of Hudson's Hope
"I'm excited to participate in a program that is a benefit from the Site C project. This fund is going to have real benefits and positive impacts for my community."
Rob Fraser, Mayor, District of Taylor
"The GO fund will be beneficial for the non-profit societies in our region and shows that BC Hydro is committed to honouring their agreements with the communities."
Brad Sperling, Director, Peace River Regional District
"With the present economic times, this is a welcomed fund and we look forward to positive outcomes from the grants."
The Site C Clean Energy Project is a hydroelectric dam and generating station under construction in northeast B.C. Once complete in 2024, the project will provide clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for more than 100 years.
BC Hydro Media Relations
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Kim Hayhurst, Manager, Marketing and Digital
Priority Funding Areas
Local governments and non-profit organizations identified the following regional priority areas that should be targeted for funding:
- Healthy food options (food bank support, nutrition education)
- Child development programming
- Family care and support
- Affordable transportation to improve access to services and programs
- Affordable access to technology.
- Non-profits that support children, families and seniors will be eligible to apply for individual grants up to $10,000 per year.
- Grant applications will be received on a continuous basis throughout the year and reviewed on a quarterly basis: November, February, May and August. The deadline for the first quarterly review of applications is November 18, 2016.
- For 2016-2017, there is a total of $200,000 available for grants.
- Full details on the BC Hydro GO Fund are available on the Northern Development Initiative Trust website: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/capacity-building/bc-hydro-go-fund/
BC Hydro GO Fund Regional Committee
The BC Hydro GO Fund will be governed by a 10-person regional decision-making committee with two appointees: one from local government and one from the community. Below is a list of committee members.
District of Chetwynd
- Councillor Laura Weisgerber
- Community representative: Marcie Fofonoff
City of Fort St. John
- Mayor Lori Ackerman
- Community representative: Connie Surerus
District of Hudson’s Hope
- Councillor Nicole Gilliss
- Community representative: Cassie Stark
Peace River Regional District (Electoral Areas B, C and E)
- Director Brad Sperling
- Community representative: Carol Kube
District of Taylor
- Councillor Betty Ponto
- Alternate: Councillor Dave Lueneberg
- Community representative: Wendy Kimmie