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BSC Program to Support 428 Community Development Projects in Manitoba

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According to Municipal Relations Minister Andrew Smith, the Manitoba government will contribute nearly $25 million through the Building Sustainable Communities (BSC) program to 428 community development projects across the province.

Journalist Zuher Almusre from U Multicultural Channel spoke with Smith to get more details about this announcement. Smith said locally developed projects are designed to meet a community’s unique needs and opportunities.”

Our government is happy to continue supporting neighbourhood-based initiatives that promote vibrant, sustainable communities and enhance residents’ quality of life,”

In Manitoba’s 2023 budget, the BSC program will continue to receive support with a maximum commitment of $25 million. Last year, this contribution was doubled to support more neighbourhood projects. This contribution comprised approximately $13 million for 60 larger-scale capital projects and over $12 million for 368 local and regional initiatives.

Some of the projects receiving grants include:

  • $122,465 to Gateway Recreation Centre in Winnipeg for facility upgrades, including replacing its evaporative condenser;
  • $300,000 to Boys & Girls Club of Thompson for building an addition to the youth center to expand program capacity;
  • $33,652 to Portage Learning and Literacy Centre to develop and deliver a food security program;
  • $90,000 to Winnipeg Transcona Lions Club for outdoor facility upgrades, including a community basketball court;
  • $300,000 to Lighthouse Evangelistic Association in Winnipeg for renovations and an addition to the Lighthouse Mission;
  • $75,000 to Dauphin Neighborhood Renewal Corporation for community resource center renovations and upgrades;
  • $54,500 to the Rural Municipality of Grahamdale Community Development Corporation for renovations to its community dock;
  • $133,500 to Manitoba Islamic Association Inc. in Winnipeg for community center upgrades; and
  • $37,500 to Nanaksar Satsang Sabha Inc. in Winnipeg for mechanical upgrades.

Introduced in 2019, the program was created to provide municipalities and nonprofit organizations with a new program that streamlined administrative procedures and reduced red tape. Since its inception, the BSC program has provided approximately $82 million to assist 1,745 community projects across Manitoba and has helped to leverage an additional $185 million in financing from other sources. The grant program assists with planning tasks, organizational capacity-building initiatives, equipment costs, capital infrastructure, and other regional or local projects that improve community sustainability.

Up to 50 per cent of eligible costs may be allocated to BSC projects. Regular stream projects are only eligible for grants up to $75,000, whereas bigger capital projects are eligible for grants up to $300,000. With the exception of preparatory activities, approved projects must get a minimum of 10 per cent of their funding from non-governmental sources.

The minister mentioned that important input from AMM is included in the BSC program intake to ensure local and district priorities are considered.”

In towns all around the province, the BSC program is “making a remarkable difference,” according to Smith. “These projects make communities healthier, stronger, and more competitive,” says the report, “from installing play structures to creating outdoor recreation spaces to renovating community centers.”

– Zuher Almusre, U Multicultural

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