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Trans Canada Trail investment in Cowichan Valley

$37,500 grant provided by the Government of Canada

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 | DUNCAN, BC

by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends

Phase 1 of the Chemainus Rail with Trail South Project will be completed with 100% of costs covered by a $37,500 grant provided by the Government of Canada. Funds are granted to the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

Today Alistair MacGregor, MP (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) was pleased to announce the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) funding that came through for local trail enhancements. This announcement comes as part of a pan-Canadian announcement of $4 million in 119 projects, as part of TCT’s annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) program, which is funded by Parks Canada.

alistair macgregor, jagmeet singh
Local Member of Parliament Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) welcomed NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to island as a federal election looms. [July 8, 2021]

This trail infrastructure investment comes at a time when Canadians are seeking opportunities to access outdoor spaces in ways that allow them to connect to nature, to their communities and to one another. 

“I continue to be inspired by the magnitude of talented, generous, compassionate, and innovative community members whom I am fortunate enough to represent, and I am pleased to share with them this important funding announcement,” said MacGregor today in a statement.

Great local enhancement:

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford residents have felt the impact of COVID-19 on their families, their livelihoods and their way of life. Supporting trail infrastructure is critical to how Canadians live, work, travel and play. 

“The Municipality of North Cowichan is a vital part of the Cowichan Valley’s tourism and cultural landscape. This funding will improve accessibility for North Cowichan residents to local forest reserves, park areas, and natural landmarks,” says MacGregor, who has been the MP for the region since 2015.

“The Chemainus Rail with Trail South Project will reduce motorized travel between areas and increase other environmentally friendly modes of transportation while encouraging and enhancing opportunities for residents to enjoy open spaces while adhering to social distancing guidelines,” he said.

oaktree naturals

In a year that saw trail use increase by 50% nationwide as Canadians sought refuge from social isolation, connection to nature and to one another in safe ways, investment in trail infrastructure remains deeply relevant as Canada emerges from COVID-19.

Canadians reap critical health, social and economic benefits from trails, and continued trail investment, particularly during this extraordinary time, improves citizens’ quality of life and meets the needs of growing communities while boosting domestic tourism and creating jobs at a time when they are most needed.

Trans Canada Trail:

“We are proud to make these important investments, as they represent an opportunity to improve the lives of Canadians by contributing to local economies, to environmental sustainability, and to the mental health and well-being of citizens,” says Eleanor McMahon, President & CEO, Trans Canada Trail. 

trans canada trail, map, bc
The BC portion of the Trans Canada Trail. [map]

Since April 2018, the Trans Canada Trail CIP funding program has invested over $16.4 million toward 417 trail projects across every province and territory, with a value of supported trail projects exceeding $106 million.

“The work of maintaining, improving and developing the Trail for future generations simply doesn’t happen without the hard work and dedication of local trail organizations, local volunteers and our provincial/territorial partners,” she says.

alistair macgregor

“We are grateful to all across the country who contribute to building and maintaining local trails. We are particularly honoured by the work, support and guidance of our Indigenous partners, whose knowledge and expertise in sustainable land stewardship guide our work nationwide.”