A local sustainability group, in concert with researchers from UVic and UBC, have received a major boost in funding in the form of a grant from The Vancouver Foundation allowing them to start developing a way forward.
Dr. Janis Shandro, a researcher from the University of Victoria is excited for the project.
“This is the first time around the globe that I know of,” Shandro said of the project, “So it’s very exciting.”
The Vancouver Foundation grant offers the group $140,000 over a two year period.
Though the current grant only lasts two years, the team is looking at a study that would, hopefully, continue for the life of the mine according to Shandro.
The committee is also applying for a Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant, which would increase their budget by $1.2 million.
The project is based around 75 social indicators the group has come up with to keep track of the health of the Fort St. James and Nak’azdli community through the life, and death, of the mine to help other communities deal with the effects of major industry opening, and closing, in their areas.
The group is waiting on the results from the other grant application before it finalizes any plans for the money it received, though it does have a broad focus for the money.
“The money will be used for building research capability in Fort St. James and Nak’azdli,” said Shandro, though details are hazy due to the fact that they are unsure of how much money they have to spend.
The committee includes members of Nak’azdli Health and members of the Fort St. James community. Local members of the committee reached out to the researchers down south to help them co-ordinate this major undertaking.