Cowichan Valley Trail sign at Douglas Street in Chemainus. (Photo by Kathy Holmes)

Cowichan Valley Trail sign at Douglas Street in Chemainus. (Photo by Kathy Holmes)

MacGregor announces important trail infrastructure investment

Phase 1 of Chemainus Rail with Trail South Project to receive full costs to complete

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor has announced $37,500 in funding from the Government of Canada through Trans Canada Trail for local trail enhancements. This announcement comes as part of a pan-Canadian announcement of $4 million for 119 projects, as part of TCT’s annual Capital Improvement Plan program funded by Parks Canada.

Through the TCT’s funding, the Cowichan Valley Regional District will receive 100 per cent of project costs to complete Phase 1 of the Chemainus Rail with Trail South Project.

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.

In a year that saw trail use increase by 50 per cent 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 improves citizens’ quality of life and meets the needs of growing communities while boosting domestic tourism and creating jobs.

“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.” noted MacGregor. “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.

“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.”

“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,” added Eleanor McMahon, president and chief executive officer of Trans Canada Trail.

“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. 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.”

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