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November 1, 2023, 9:33 am

Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society and District of Port Edward Sign Memorandum of Understanding

District of Port Edward
PORT EDWARD - A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society and District of Port Edward marks the beginning of a commitment to work together to redevelop the site that currently is home to the Port Ed Store and the District’s Post Office buildings.

With both parties making commitments to the cooperative venture, an initial grant application will be made to the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program for funding a portion of the project. The MOU outlines the contributions each party will make towards the redevelopment of the Port Ed store and post office into a joint-use facility, conditional on receiving the grant.

Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society CEO Blair Mirau said: “On behalf of our board of directors and staff, we are excited to explore with the District of Port Edward on how best to undertake a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the community’s sole storefront”.

Mayor Knut Bjorndal stated on behalf of Council, “We are pleased to build a new relationship with the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society, to enhance the services available for residents and visitors to the community. This MOU sets the stage for an important and welcome investment in Port Edward’s future.”

A new redeveloped store is expected to include more grocery selection, refrigerated goods, food service options and a laundromat. The current dilapidated post office building will be housed inside the new improved storefront, providing a safer working environment, more space for operations and better services to the residents. Potential second floor accommodations will be a welcome investment in new housing for the community.

Depending on the success of grant applications, the co-design of concept plans is expected to begin in spring of 2024. If grant funds are confirmed, the Society anticipates launching a round of community consultations to hear directly from residents on what they would most like to see in a new store. Further updates will be provided to the community as progress is made on this collaborative project. To hear more details, attend the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at 11:30 am on November 22nd, 2023, at the
Nisga’a Hall in Prince Rupert.
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