Federal infrastructure spending plans are underway and MP Nathan Cullen is determined to hear what this means for residents in the Skeena Bulkley Valley riding.
Cullen is currently in the first leg of a riding-wide town hall tour to speak with constituents about their priorities for future federal infrastructure spending.
“It is fantastic that our communities were able to secure almost 13 percent of the funding allocated to the entire province for much-needed capital and capacity building projects,” Cullen said.
The new federal government in Ottawa was elected on a promise to make major investments in towns and communities and as economic development ramps up in the northwest of B.C., Cullen wants support from the federal government to repair roads and build stronger community infrastructure.
So what are the priorities in Fort St. James?
About 20 members of the community attended the meeting on Feb. 29 at the Seniors Centre and they were ready to share their ideas.
Cullen, thrilled to see his riding receive close to $9.2 million of the $73 million of federal funding, was eager to hear what community members in Fort St. James had to say.
Issues raised and needs presented included areas in: transportation, housing and health.
Everyone who attended broke up into smaller groups and as they started to share, the ideas began to flow.
Main priorities in Fort St. James include: the building of a new hospital, making transportation more readily available in town, more opportunities for youth, environmental issues surrounding sewage, quality of water and road repair and connectivity and communication.
“This is the beginning,” Cullen said. “We now have a starting point. You have contributed to the pitch. Now the government will know what’s needed.”
Cullen will continue to hear from other constituents from all across the Skeena-Bulkley Valley as he continues his tour.
“The infusion of federal funds to help Northwest communities build, upgrade or outright replace community infrastructure will really help to get some of these important projects off the ground,” Cullen said.
“I want to recognise the hard work of municipal governments and staff for their roles in bringing this money to their communities.”