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Basin communities to benefit from record budget

There will be $17 million in new funding in the 2011/12 fiscal year to support social, economic and environmental initiatives throughout the Columbia Basin, the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) announced this week.

This is the largest allocation in CBT’s history and a 13 per cent increase over last year’s funding.

Budget allocations include:

• $3.6 million to the Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs, which support projects identified as priorities within individual communities;

• $1.1 million to Economic Initiatives to strengthen the labour force, foster entrepreneurial ventures and encourage regional economic development partnerships within the Basin;

• $950,000 to support community groups and organizations that plan to undertake environmental restoration, conservation and education projects across the Basin under the Environmental Initiatives and Environment Education Programs;

• $700,000 to support the acquisition of private land for conservation purposes and undertake land management activities under the Land Conservation Program;

• $3.0 million to the Community Development Program, a flexible granting stream that supports a range of community projects;

• $150,000 to Community Service Awards to encourage volunteerism and assist Basin high school students and residents in pursuing post-secondary education;

• $1.3 million to support Basin residents and Basin communities to take action on a variety of water-related issues being faced in the Basin under the Water Initiatives Program;

• $4.0 million for the extension of other existing programs and initiatives in areas such as social and youth initiatives, and for the development of new programs and initiatives; and

• funding for regional partnerships with organizations such as Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance ($555,000), Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy ($400,000) and Selkirk College ($330,000) for the creation of the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute.

CBT delivers economic, social and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin.

To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit www.cbt.org or call 1-800-505-8998.