August 2022 - Newsletter

In this issue

Photo: Danielle Wiess and Carly Johansson, electric mobility experts with the Community Energy Association, celebrate the completion of the 2022 Charge North EV Discovery Tour 
All Photo Credit: Community Energy Association

From August 12-21, the Community Energy Association (CEA) toured an electric Mustang Mach-E through 13 communities in central and northern B.C., including 10 in Northern Development’s service region. The 10-day tour was organized to support Charge North, a partnership involving 23 regional districts, municipalities and First Nations to create an electric vehicle (EV) charging station network across central and northern B.C.

 “Our electric mobility experts traveled 2,300 kilometres, offered over 100 test drives and spoke with nearly 400 residents of central and northern B.C.,” said Rob van Adrichem, director of external relations, Community Energy Association. “This tour provided a friendly introduction to the benefits of EVs, what it’s like to drive electric and to share information about the progress that is being made with installing public EV charging stations.”

In 2020, Northern Development approved a $192,000 Strategic Initiatives Fund grant for Charge North to assist with the costs of procuring 46 level 2 EV charging stations in the Trust’s service area.

“Transportation is the largest single source of community-based greenhouse gas emissions in Northern B.C. and these can be reduced by driving electric,” said van Adrichem. “In fact, emissions from the EV Discovery Tour were less than 1 per cent of what would be emitted by a comparable vehicle driving the same distance with an internal combustion engine.”

Dubbed the EV Discovery Tour, the 10-day road trip supported Charge North’s objective to accelerate EV adoption by giving northern residents an opportunity to ask questions and meet with local EV drivers face-to-face. More than 100 people also booked a test drive in the Mustang Mach-E to experience the thrill of driving electric first-hand.

“Having the EV Discovery Tour stop in Houston was incredibly informative and inspiring for our residents who are curious about EVs and what the transition could look like for them,” said Michael Dewar, chief administrative officer, District of Houston. “Having Danielle and Carly from the Community Energy Association on hand to answer questions about EVs during the Farmers’ Market was very complimentary and encouraged a lot of people to stop and chat about how they can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”

By installing and marketing a network of accessible EV charging stations, Charge North will help address range anxiety and demonstrate to potential EV drivers that it is possible to comfortably travel through Northern B.C. with an EV.

Later this year, Charge North will begin installing Level 2 charging stations in 31 communities throughout central and northern B.C., including in four communities on Haida Gwaii and as far south as Logan Lake. View all the communities that are receiving charging stations by reading the January 2020 press release announcing funding for Charge North:

Dan Domes shows where a trail will be built beside Tabor Creek.
All photos: Northern Development

On August 31, the Association of Caledonia Trailbuilders (ACT) welcomed two Northern Development staff to visit their project site on Tabor Mountain, approximately 15 kilometres east of Prince George. Approved for a $70,302 Recreation Infrastructure grant in June 2022, the ACT has made quick work of completing preliminary clearing of trails, with the ultimate, long-term goal to complete several phases of trail development, resulting in a 35-kilometre multi-use trail network.

“The idea of this new trail network has been in the works since 2016,” said Dan Domes, president, ACT. “Now that the work is finally underway, our hope is to have almost five kilometres of green and blue trails ready to ride by spring 2023. Riders of all experience levels will enjoy these trails and appreciate the scenery and soundscape as they ride the two-way trail along Tabor Creek.”

Green flags indicate where a trail will be built on Tabor Mountain.

The $70,302 grant is being used to complete the first phase of the new trail network by developing two trails. The first trail will allow users of all skill levels to travel uphill on a beginner trail that spans 2,200 metres from Groveburn Road to Troll Lake Trail. The second trail will require 1,193 metres of hand building along Tabor Creek and will connect with the first described trail.

“Tabor is an ideal location for a mountain bike trail network,” explained Domes. “A gravel road allows shuttles right up to the top of the mountain, it’s fairly close to town and there’s lots of vertical.”

Tabor Mountain Recreation Site already features a gravel road, which provides vehicle shuttling opportunities for mountain bikers. Having a vehicle shuttle option will allow riders to spend more time enjoying the flow while travelling downhill, without having to pedal up. The trail network plan also includes climbing trails and two-way trails for bikers to pedal uphill to their next trailhead.

Although geared towards mountain bikers, the trail network will be welcoming to a range of non-motorized users, including hikers, snowshoers and fat bikers.

Walking a partially cleared trail on Tabor Mountain.
Joel McKay.
Photo: Northern Development

Joel McKay, Northern Development’s CEO, was recognized by Business in Vancouver (BIV) as one of B.C.’s most influential business leaders in their BC500 list.

BC500 features business leaders who have a notable impact on B.C.’s communities, industries and economy and who embody the values of modern leadership, including engagement, trust, corporate citizenship, inclusion and innovation.

This is the second consecutive year that McKay has been included in the economic development section of BC500.

Two other B.C. trusts earned a spot in the economic development section:  Laurel Douglas, CEO, Economic Trust of the Southern Interior and Brodie Guy, CEO, Island Coastal Economic Trust.

View the economic development category of BC500:

On August 4, Northern Development announced $1,083,234 in grant funding for five projects to strengthen Northern B.C. communities and the economy.

“These latest projects really reflect the vision of the Trust to establish the north as a place that people want to live, work and play in,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development. “Investments in housing, the arts, food security, agriculture and community infrastructure play a huge role in retaining and attracting residents.”

Funding was approved by Northern Development’s board of directors at their July 27 board meeting. Recipients include:

  • Village of Fraser Lake – $300,000 Recreation Infrastructure grant
  • Fort St. John Seed Cleaning Cooperative Association: $300,000 Economic Infrastructure grant
  • Village of McBride: $200,000 Northern Housing Incentive grant
  • Xat’sull First Nation: $145,627 Economic Infrastructure grant
  • Trinity United Church: $137,607 Cultural Infrastructure grant

Read the full press release and descriptions of the approved projects on Northern Development’s website here:

The BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund (BC Hydro PACF) is seeking one person to join the board as a member-at-large to serve a two-year term.

The BC Hydro PACF is a $20 million fund that was established by BC Hydro to support agricultural production and related economic activity in the Peace Region. It is governed by a regional decision-making board, which is responsible for overseeing the management and disbursement of the fund.

The deadline to apply is October 21, 2022.

More information and to apply: