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North Island-Powell River MP tables COVID-19 relief and recovery motion

Rachel Blaney calls for sustainable economic development in rural communities
North Island Powell River MP Rachel Blaney tabled a motion to ensure rural, remote and resource-based communities receive their fair share of COVID-19 relief funding, and that it targets sustainable, economic development

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney wants to make sure that as the federal government continues to roll out funding and resources for COVID-19 relief and economic recovery, Canada’s rural, remote and resource-based communities receive their fair share, and that it targets sustainable, economic development in those regions.

According to a media release, last fall, Blaney began drafting a motion in consultation with stakeholders in several parts of her riding.

“There’s great, innovative work being done in our small communities,” stated Blaney. “Often, it’s not to the scale of big projects in Canada’s major centres, but it’s even more important in these communities that the federal government comes to the table.”

Blaney’s motion calls on the House of Commons to recognize and honour that Canada has a rich history of resource-dependant rural communities providing the economic prosperity many Canadians have benefited from, that this prosperity has often been at the expense of, or specifically excluded, local indigenous peoples and communities, and that the future of these resource-dependent communities is at risk due to climate change.

The release states the motion then sets out a set of principles for COVID-19 relief and recovery funding, that it: be aligned with the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples; be distributed equitably to all regions of the country; prioritize projects that have clear environmental benefits and that can be managed and built locally with long-term local economic benefits.

Blaney discussed the motion with Powell River city councillor CaroleAnn Leishman, which is available as a podcast here:

Blaney has set up a page on her website for the public to find and share information about the motion and add their name endorsing it:

“Tabling this motion opens the door for conversations,” stated Blaney. “I hope to see constituents in my riding and also across Canada engage with these ideas and push their MPs and the government to incorporate them into our recovery plans going forward.”