The federal government has made a significant economic development contribution to the Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) First Nation on southern Vancouver Island. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller, on behalf of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced $2.9 million in the Government of Canada’s support of Sc’ianew First Nation’s plan to build 50,000 square feet of new commercial space as part of their Spirit Bay Town Centre project.
The Spirit Bay Town Centre project is a Band initiative to create economic development on their reserve. Funds will be used to build gas and power line extensions, and prepare the Town Centre site for the construction of commercial buildings. When complete, the space will support their Spirit Bay residential development with a mix of small- to midsize retail and commercial businesses, such as a medical facility, gas station, grocery store, fish shop and coffee shop.
$2.9 million in funding was provided through the ISC Community Opportunity Readiness Program, which helps Indigenous communities realize the full potential of economic opportunities.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to support First Nations by investing in infrastructure that will foster economic opportunity. Community-driven projects like Sc’ianew First Nation’s commercial development play an important part in building healthier, more sustainable communities.”
– The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
Spirit Bay is a small seaside village development 51% owned by the Sc’ianew First Nation. When completed it will include 400-600 homes on 100 acres of remarkably beautiful coastline overlooking the Olympic Mountains and the Salish Sea. The new community aspires to be one of the most sustainable new developments in Canada with geothermal heating/cooling, native plant restoration, community gardens and a Dark Sky ethos. The Band benefits from lease payments from home buyers, property taxes and geothermal utilities.
“Our Nation, Beecher Bay, is bootstrapping its way forward with the help of this funding from ISC and the support of Minister Philpott. We are creating a showcase for how large scale sustainable development, like Spirit Bay, can be a richly rewarding endeavour for our community, and our neighbours. We are working to create a template here in Beecher Bay that can be replicated in other First Nations across Canada — Nations that are looking for true stewardship and sustainability and to create economic development and independence. Spirit Bay is creating jobs and opportunities for our people now, and a bright path forward for our children, and for coming generations.”
– Chief Russ Chipps
Sc’ianew First Nation
It’s anticipated that the Spirit Bay Town Centre project will create 46 full-time and 36 part-time jobs, and eight spin-off businesses with $18 million in economic benefits to the community over eight years.