BC Hydro Establishes Fund to Support Non-Profits in Peace Region

FORT ST. JOHN – BC Hydro today launched an $800,000 fund to support Peace Region non-profit organizations. The Generate Opportunities (GO) Fund will be distributed over an eight-year period to organizations that provide services to vulnerable populations including children, families and seniors.

“We recognize the important role that non-profit organizations play in providing programs and services to the community,” said Jessica McDonald, CEO of BC Hydro. “We’re really pleased to establish the BC Hydro GO Fund to support Peace Region communities during construction of the Site C project.”

The funding — which meets a condition of environmental approval for the Site C project — is targeted to non-profit organizations that serve the communities of Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope, Taylor, Chetwynd, and residents of the Peace River Regional District in Electoral Areas B, C and E.

BC Hydro has been consulting and engaging with local governments and Peace Region non-profit organizations to gather input on the mandate and administration of the fund. Participants were clear that they wanted funding decisions to be made in the region, for the region. Participants also emphasized the importance of minimizing administrative costs to ensure that the majority of the fund would go to helping organizations deliver services to people in need.

Based on the input received, BC Hydro has established a 10-person regional decision-making committee with two appointees from each of the communities and rural areas that the fund will serve. The committee will be responsible for reviewing applications and making all funding approval decisions. The BC Hydro GO Fund will be administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust on behalf of BC Hydro.

“It’s good to see communities in the region working in collaboration with BC Hydro to support non-profit organizations,” said Mike Bernier, MLA, Peace River South. “This funding will help ensure non-profits in the region have the resources they need and I applaud the efforts of the regional committee.”

“Northern Development is pleased to be able to help and support the delivery of these funds to our northeast communities,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “Helping deliver third-party funds has become one of the many ways the Trust has been able to help B.C.’s central and northern communities.”

“City Council is very pleased that this has come to fruition. We heard loud and clear from the community that one of the priorities was ensuring that our vulnerable and disenfranchised citizens were supported,” says Lori Ackerman, Mayor of the City of Fort St. John.