Lethbridge, Alberta, October 1, 2020—Canadians’ safety and well-being are top priorities for the federal government and the government of Alberta. The two levels of government are taking decisive action to support the regional economy and local communities in Southern Alberta, including Indigenous communities, which have been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development; the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and the Honourable Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure for Alberta, announced funding for 4 projects in Southern Alberta.

The funding will help the University of Lethbridge provide an open administrative space and offices for Indigenous Elders and student counsellors. The renovated space will also feature an Indigenous gathering space for Elders’ Talking Circles, celebrations and other events, complete with a new smudging exhaust system.

In Cardston County, the funding will help re-build the main campus of the Red Crow Community College that was destroyed in a 2015 fire. This campus will provide training to create a talent pipeline for key industries in Southern Alberta, such as agriculture and agri-business, and to support long-term regional development. The new building will include classrooms, workshops, labs, academic and counselling spaces for students, administrative and program spaces for employees, as well as a library, cafeteria and daycare. It will also feature a museum and archival space, a cultural teaching and gathering space, and an area for Elders.

Medicine Hat College will use its funding to build a new 1,333 m2 extension, and re-purpose 861 m2 of existing space. The labs and classrooms will be expanded for simulations and teaching, and the central space will be renovated to an Indigenous gathering place for teaching and sharing. A new lift will also be installed to make the lower level more accessible, and a structure for future solar panels will be added to the roof of the building.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $21.9 million in these projects through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS) and the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Alberta is providing $125,000, while funding applicants are contributing over $30.7 million.

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