Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

July 18, 2007 13:47 ET

Western Economic Diversification Canada: Canada's New Government Announces $6 Million Commitment Toward Kamloops Airport Expansion

KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 18, 2007) - The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources today announced up to $6 million earmarked to expand the Kamloops Airport. The expanded airport facility will provide greater access to a growing regional tourism industry anchored by Sun Peaks Resort, the second largest ski area in B.C.

"Our Government is delivering on our commitment to the city of Kamloops," said Minister Lunn. "This funding will diversify and strengthen the local economy, which is a central piece of our comprehensive response to the mountain pine beetle infestation in affected communities"

The City of Kamloops in the Thompson-Nicola region is situated within the area affected by the beetle infestation. The proposed airport expansion includes a new 2,000-foot runway extension, taxiway and aprons, an air terminal building expansion, and improved navigational aids.

"An upgraded airport combined with aggressive marketing will encourage more people to visit and do business in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and assist communities within the airport area to develop strategies to diversify their economies," said Betty Hinton, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo. "The region's tourism sector is an important source of jobs and economic diversification in this beetle-affected area.

British Columbia is experiencing the worst Mountain Pine Beetle outbreak recorded in Canada. Forecasts indicate at the current rate of spread, 50 per cent of mature pine in B.C. will be dead by 2008 and 80 per cent by 2013.

The federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program is led by Natural Resources Canada. The objectives of the Program are to: control the spread of the beetle; recover economic value from infested timber; protect the forest resouces and communities; and support economic diversification and infrastructure in affected communities.

Western Economic Diversification Canada is actively working with the Airport Authority to finalize all steps in the due diligence process, allowing the Government of Canada's investment to flow to the Kamloops Airport project.

Western Economic Diversification Canada is a department of the Government of Canada that works in partnership with the provinces, industry associations and communities to stimulate and encourage diversification of the western economy, as well as to represent the interests of the West in national decision-making.

For more information on the Mountain Pine Beetle Program, please visit: http://mpb.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/publications_e.html.

The general public may contact:

Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada
    Jillian Glover
    Communication Advisor
    (604) 666-7543 or Cell: (604) 306-1386
    Website: www.wd.gc.ca
    Natural Resources Canada - Ottawa
    Kathleen Olson
    Director of Communications, Office of the Minister
    (613) 996-2007