New UFV ag facility gets funding boost

Seed money worth $1 million for UFV's agriculture program secured by out-going Chilliwack MLA John Les

Monday was the last official day on the job for Chilliwack MLA John Les, and he made the best of it on behalf of Chilliwack.

“I’ve been able to arrange a $1 million contribution from the provincial government as seed funding for a new agricultural facility at UFV Chilliwack,” Les told The Progress.

The funds have to be matched by partners such as University of the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack Economic Partners Corp. and more.

CEPCO has already committed to a contribution of $200,000 for the new agriculture building, and it has taken the lead on securing other funding sources.

“There are several potential partners already in discussions.

“We might end up with a facility worth $3 million, up to $3.5 million in value at the end of the day,” Les said.

The UFV Agriculture Department moved last year to the new Chilliwack campus in the Canada Education Park, but the department is still in need of a greenhouse, a barn as well as more classroom facilities.

“This will mean building whatever is needed to continue developing an incredible agriculture program at UFV, with the proper facilities so they can do the kind of education and research that they need to do.

“It’s the next important piece in the development of the UFV Chilliwack campus, and it will lead to new, modern and up-to-date facilities.”

Les wanted to make this announcement weeks ago, but it just came together.

“We went back to drawing board and this approach has worked,” he said. “I’m delighted. For me personally, it means finishing up on a high note.”