Strategic Priorities

Columbia Basin Trust exists to support the efforts of the people of the Columbia Basin to create a legacy of social, economic and environmental well-being.

We take our lead from the people of the Basin. In 2020 six priorities were developed to guide how the Trust would focus its efforts, while continuing to respond to emerging issues in the region and pursuing our existing work in social, economic and environmental initiatives.

The six strategic priorities, outlined below, also include two integrated priorities—climate resilience and working with Indigenous peoples—to be incorporated by the Trust in its work in the Basin.

Download the full Columbia Basin Management Plan and view our strategic priorities below..

The Trust is focused on the following six strategic priorities: community well-being, ecosystem enhancement, high-speed connectivity, housing, local food production and access, and support for business renewal. In addition, the integrated priorities of climate resilience and working with Indigenous Peoples will be incorporated throughout the Trust’s work in the Basin.

Enable communities to achieve their unique aspirations with flexible and proactive support from the Trust.

Objectives

  • Adapt programs to community needs.
  • Provide guidance and access to resources for communities to assist them in adapting to changes.
  • Proactively work with communities, prioritizing those facing barriers in accessing resources to help them identify their priorities, and act on their projects.
  • Maintain trails, including by creating related employment and training opportunities.
  • Support non-profits in their efforts to meet community needs.
  • Further enable community-serving organizations to address challenges including poverty, isolation or marginalization.
  • Provide opportunities and supports for children, youth, seniors, and elders.
  • Increase energy efficiency and sustainability in community buildings.
  • Support exposure to and participation in arts, culture and heritage.

Desired Outcomes

  • Communities feel that the Trust is helping them meet their priorities.
  • Communities realize their aspirations, and see their well-being enhanced.
  • Communities proactively identify and develop project ideas and are successful in securing project funding.
  • Communities have a range of assets that enhance the quality of life for their residents and visitors.
  • Communities have access to credible information and education on climate change and the natural environment.
  • The non-profit sector is meeting community needs.
  • Vulnerable or potentially vulnerable populations have access to support.
  • Children, youth, seniors and elders are connected to each other and the community.
  • Communities have access to diverse arts, culture and heritage opportunities.

Maintain and improve ecological health and native biodiversity in a variety of ecosystems.

Objectives

  • Identify landscape-level projects focused on ecosystem restoration, addressing cumulative impacts, by seeking input from community groups, First Nations representatives and government experts.
  • Identify projects that create local employment opportunities and skills training.
  • Support projects that contribute to healthy, functioning ecosystems into the future.
  • Support community organizations to identify and secure funding for projects from other sources including governments.
  • Share success stories on ecosystem restoration with communities to help inspire action.

Desired Outcomes

  • Ecosystem health in the Basin is measurably improved.
  • Community organizations are sharing best practices related to ecosystem enhancement and restoration and have information on the effectiveness of various restoration approaches.
  • Local jobs are created. Basin residents, including youth, experience measurable skill development, and increased connection to ecosystems.
  • Ecosystems are enhanced and restored for a range of community values and uses, including by partnering with Indigenous peoples, and Indigenous perspectives are part of the development of all projects.
  • There is an increase in terrestrial and aquatic habitat area restored or enhanced.
  • Further establishment of invasive species is prevented or reduced.

Increase reliable, affordable, high-speed connectivity in the Basin with an emphasis on underserved rural areas.

Objectives

  • Expand the physical fibre optic network.
  • Increase usage of the existing network.
  • Obtain grants from other entities such as provincial or federal governments.
  • Consider other, emerging technologies in improving connectivity in rural areas.
  • Explore other revenue-generating opportunities.
  • Assess long-term approach in connectivity.

Desired Outcomes

  • The Trust’s fibre optic network is expanded to underserved areas.
  • Rural internet service providers are supported in providing high quality and affordable services.
  • There is increased connection to high speed internet from both residential and commercial users.
  • Explore partnerships to develop scalable, last mile sustainable networks in Basin communities. The Trust and its partners are prepared to quickly take advantage of funding opportunities from provincial and federal governments.
  • Additional revenue-generating opportunities are pursued.

Increase housing stock to help address availability and affordability of housing in the Basin.

Objectives

  • Work along the housing continuum to provide and maintain affordable housing options.
  • Support efforts to address local and regional housing priorities.
  • Pursue funding opportunities, including provincial and federal, private sector and non-profit sector opportunities.
  • Increase energy efficiency in upgraded and new housing.
  • Support the creation of local employment and skills training through affordable housing efforts.
  • Support organizations in removing barriers to accessing affordable housing.
  • Support housing providers to ensure they can develop, manage and maintain housing.

Desired Outcomes

  • The number of new affordable rental units is increased.
  • Existing affordable housing stock is retained, repaired and more energy efficient.
  • Housing entities are prepared to take advantage of available funding opportunities.
  • Opportunities for affordable home ownership are realized.
  • Housing providers and residents have the skills and abilities to maintain their housing.
  • People who could not previously access affordable housing have a home.
  • Creative and innovative models are explored to meet.

Increase Basin residents’ access to foods that are locally produced and processed.

Objectives

  • Support local food production and producers, including through consideration of the various elements that need to be in place and need to work together for local food to be produced and available.
  • Explore value-added food processing.
  • Increase market access.
  • Support climate resilience strategies for local food production.
  • Reduce food waste.

Desired Outcomes

  • Basin residents have access to locally grown, healthy food.
  • Regional and/or community food distribution partnerships are explored.
  • Connections are explored between food producers and community food access organizations.
  • Existing food producers are supported to grow and market their products.
  • Opportunities exist for new entrants to primary production and/or community-based agriculture to meet local food demand.
  • Food is recovered and diversion, composting and education supports are in place.

Businesses are resilient to recent challenges, able to adapt, expand their operations and employ Basin residents.

Objectives

  • Businesses have access to assessment and advice for increased efficiency or expansion.
  • Businesses have access to assessment or advice for reducing GHG emissions and energy use.
  • Businesses maintain and create jobs.
  • Businesses have access to capital.
  • Basin residents have skills and training for available jobs.
  • New graduates have opportunities to gain employment experience in their field.
  • Encourage local purchases.
  • Prioritize support for local businesses engaged in enhancement to local production and the supply chain.
  • Support businesses to attract and retain workers.

Desired Outcomes

  • Communities support Basin businesses by buying local goods and services.
  • Businesses retain current staff, have opportunity to create new jobs and can hire required staff.
  • Businesses have continued access to capital required to conduct their business.
  • Basin residents have access to safe and affordable child care to enable their employment.
  • Basin residents have access to employment training.
  • Businesses have access to credible, science-based information on climate change to guide decisions and action.
  • Local production is enhanced.

View highlights of our 13 priorities from 2016-2020