Government of Canada Announces New West Coast Energy Fund for First Nations in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BC, April, 27, 2016 /CNW/ - The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, today announced the launch of a $5 million West Coast Energy Fund. In addition to existing loan arrangements available through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, British Columbia's Indigenous entrepreneurs and community-owned businesses can now access loans through the New Relationship Trust. The loans can support participants in the construction or operation of energy infrastructure projects, including pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals.

With this new federal funding, the New Relationship Trust will deliver the West Coast Energy Fund through partnerships with Aboriginal Financial Institutions such as British Columbia's Aboriginal Capital Corporations and select Aboriginal Community Futures organizations.

Participation in the natural resource economy and capitalizing on complex economic development opportunities are fundamental to increasing the economic prosperity of Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.


"All Canadians benefit when Indigenous communities are genuine partners in sustainable economic development that promotes stronger, healthier communities. The West Coast Energy Fund will play an important role in supporting Indigenous entrepreneurship and community-owned businesses to participate in developing the energy export industry which is so important to growing the Canadian economy."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

"No relationship is more important to the Government of Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples. This is why we are determined to ensure that they have an important role to play in Canada's economic prosperity and environmental stewardship. It is through initiatives like these that Indigenous communities will be able to benefit from the economic and social opportunities offered by natural resource projects."

The Honourable James Carr,
Minister of Natural Resources Canada

"New Relationship Trust is pleased to partner with INAC and our network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions in British Columbia through the West Coast Energy Fund.  This loan fund will provide much needed support for aboriginal entrepreneurs and BC First Nation community businesses that wish to start or expand their oil or gas related business in the province. Economic Development is one of our five strategic funding initiatives which assists in building capacity throughout the province."

Cliff Fregin
CEO, New Relationship Trust

Associated Links

Strategic Partnerships Initiative: Overview
New Relationship Trust

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SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information: Contacts: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160

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