Columbia Basin Trust to take new appraoch

The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is introducing a new way to deliver funds within the Columbia Valley.

The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is introducing a new way to deliver funds within the Columbia Valley, by putting decision making into the hands of groupings of communities so that money can be allocated where it will be most effective.

“We’re pleased the residents of the Columbia Valley are ready to work in this way,” said Garry Merkel, CBT Board Chair in a release. “We’ve been talking to communities over the years about ways to support communities to make their own decisions about their priorities. This is not new funding; it is another way to access existing funds that will support people across community boundaries to work together to shape their futures.”

The Columbia Valley will receive $200,000 a year for three years to fund valley-wide priorities, and funds will be administered through the Regional District of East Kootenay. CBT is also looking at following a similar approach elsewhere within the Columbia Basin, based on interest of community groups and a general readiness of communities to work together.

“We now have a committee consisting of elected RDEK directors and community members from the Columbia Valley, coordinating the planning for the use of these funds,” said Wendy Booth, Chair of the Columbia Valley Community Directed Funds Committee and RDEK Electoral Area F Director. “After comprehensive consultation to set valley-wide priorities, we will be allocating funds to appropriate projects. It’s a great opportunity to work collaboratively toward common goals for the valley.”

CBT supports efforts to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit or call 1.800.505.8998.