Government funding helps expand Experience the Fraser Canyon to Coast Trail

Submitted. The expansion of the Experience the Fraser Canyon to Coast Trail will continue thanks to more than $335,000 of government funding and
five people gaining work experience in the construction and trail-building sector.

Fraser Valley MLAs Simon Gibson (Abbotsford-Mission), Doug Bing (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) and Marc Dalton (Maple Ridge-Mission) announced the
funding at the opening of the new gatehouse at Dewdney Nature Regional Park on July 11.

The new gatehouse at Dewdney Nature Regional Park is one of many different aspects of the project, which will see participants at work for 24 weeks
constructing a portion of the trail running through Mission and Chilliwack making improvements at:

* Dewdney Nature Regional Park

* Island 22 Regional Park in Chilliwack

* Mission Tree Farm Licence 26 in Mission

* Cheam Lake Wetland Regional Park in Chilliwack

* Fraser River East Dyke in Chilliwack

* Popkum Community Trail in Popkum

* and Fraser Pacific Enterprises in Mission

The five participants in the program were selected with the help of WorkBC Employment Services Centres and will work under the leadership of Ecoworks
Landscape Services Inc., building trails and recreational shelters, installing signage, and planting vegetation along the trail. They will also receive their Level 1 First Aid, Chainsaw Use and Safety, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and Express Skid Steer Loader Trainer certifications, as well as Bear Aware and Danger Dog training prior to beginning work on the trail.

The new skills the participants gain will give them real-world work experience they can use in their search for full-time employment in the construction industry once the project is complete.

Ecoworks is working in partnership with the Fraser Valley Regional District on the project, which is scheduled to be completed by mid-November.

Funding for the project comes from the Job Creation Partnership stream of the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation’s Community and
Employer Partnerships program.

In July 2015, the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation provided more than $320,000 for a similar project for a different part of the Experience the Fraser Trail, which when completed, will stretch from Hope to the Salish Sea along the Fraser River.

Experience the Fraser is a recreational, cultural and heritage project that extends along the Lower Fraser River corridor connecting Hope to the Salish
Sea. More than 550 kilometres of Experience the Fraser trails and blueways (water entry points for canoers and kayakers) will connect communities along
the Fraser River.It will give residents of the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland a new asset

It will give residents of the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland a new asset for outdoor recreation as well as a place that tourists can enjoy for years
to come.

Job Creation Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund projects that increase
employability and share labour market information.

The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides more support to people who are struggling to
gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.

To date, more than 1,000 job seekers benefited from work experience and more than 200 projects have been funded throughout the province.

The blueprint was launched two years ago to help British Columbians get the skills they need to be first in line for the almost one million job openings
that are projected by 2024 and to re-engineer our education programs towards a data-driven system focusing investments toward training for in-demand

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