OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 10, 2020 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is working in partnership with First Nations to support community-driven economic development projects that will help build healthier, more sustainable communities.
Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) on starting construction of the Duck Lake Business Park. The Government of Canada provided $2.275 million through Indigenous Services Canada’s Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP) to support the business park’s infrastructure costs, including site preparation, earthworks and grading, road realignment, paving, water and wastewater servicing, drainage infrastructure, and power.
Once completed, this new development will make approximately 23 acres of new commercial lands available including 300,000 square feet of new commercial building space; meeting the high demand for commercial and light-industrial space in Central Okanagan. Long-term benefits will include on-reserve business opportunities, increased employment, job training, improved infrastructure, and the creation of new community revenue generated through leases, sales and partnerships.
“Our Government is pleased to invest in Duck Lake Business Park, which contributes to the Okanagan Indian Band’s long-term growth and well-being. The community and the local economy will benefit from the jobs, training opportunities, and infrastructure this project is bringing.“
The Honourable Marc Miller , P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
“On behalf of Chief and Council and the Okanagan Band we thank the Honourable Minister Marc Miller and Indigenous Services Canada for accepting our application to the Community Opportunity Readiness Program. We are proud of the fact that this successful application was submitted by our OKIB Group of Companies and the fact that this funding will provide the basis for advancing our locally based business development activities, provide local and regional employment opportunities and improve the economic outlook for our People and neighbouring communities in the North and Central Okanagan Region.
We, as Council, are proud of the fact that our OKIB Group of Companies has successfully undertaken, as our first initiative, the creation of our very own Business Development Park that provides over 300,000 square feet of commercial development space within our community. This development will continue to provide opportunities for our memberships’ longstanding entrepreneurial spirit, facilitate full-time employment and training for members and surrounding communities. The Community Opportunity Readiness Program will help support the continued local and regional economic growth, provide commercial space for developing quality business units in a strategic location.”
Chief Byron Louis
Okanagan Indian Band
- The OKIB is located just west of the City of Vernon, British Columbia, with additional lands near the City of Kelowna.
- The OKIB has nearly 2,100 registered members, of whom approximately 825 live on-reserve.
- The business park will be located on Duck Lake Indian Reserve No. 7 in Winfield, north of Kelowna.
- The OKIB estimates the project will create 316 full-time jobs, provide training for an additional 145 Indigenous people, increase community revenue by more than $4.7 million, and generate nearly $73 million in economic benefits for the region over eight years.
- The OKIB identified Duck Lake Business Park as a priority in its five-year Economic Development Plan and its Land Use Plan.
- The OKIB has already secured two tenants interested in long-term leases.
- CORP funding helps First Nations and Inuit communities pursue economic opportunities by supporting the development of community economic infrastructure and in the establishment, acquisition or expansion of community-owned businesses.
Okanagan Indian Band
Community Opportunity Readiness Program
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2020/10/c0926.html