Skip to content

Piece of $5M funding to help Coquitlam, Port Moody improve accessibility

B.C. officials say the Rick Hansen Foundation is already working with Coquitlam and Port Moody on accessibility solutions.
Man in Motion, Rick Hansen (left), gets some help unveiling a special plaque recognizing Port Moody's Mossom Creek fish hatchery as the first in Canada to achieve gold status for accessibility from the Rick Hansen Foundation. | Paul Steeves

Two Tri-Cities municipalities are getting a boost from the province to help continue accessibility upgrades.

On Thursday (July 27), the B.C. government unveiled $5 million for the Rick Hansen Foundation to work with 15 communities to ensure local residents can access local facilities.

Coquitlam and Port Moody are part of the investment as two of eight cities already working with the non-profit organization.

It's not known how much each municipality is receiving.

However, the money will ultimately contribute to civic facility accessibility evaluations, train city staff and upgrade three selected sites to make life better for people of all abilities.

"Thank you to the Government of B.C. for your leadership and commitment to removing accessibility barriers for British Columbians with disabilities and their friends and loved ones," said Rick Hansen.

The Man in Motion founded his namesake foundation in 1988, three years after completing his 40,000-km marathon in 34 countries around the world.

"Ensuring our communities are accessible to people of all ages and abilities is critical to an equitable and inclusive society."

Hansen is already familiar with Port Moody's commitment to current standards.

In May, he visited the Mossom Creek Hatchery to unveil a plaque from his foundation in recognizing the local volunteer facility's gold status for accessibility.

Mossom Creek is the first hatchery in Canada to attain the title, and new features include:

  • automatic door openers
  • wheelchair access to the viewing ponds
  • improved washroom facilities to make them easier to use for people with mobility challenges or hearing impairments
  • the installation of an audio system that transmits directly to hearing aids

Across B.C., there are roughly 926,000 people living with a disability, and the province hopes its new investment can break even more barriers.

"We all want people to live dignified lives and fully participate in their communities," said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

"That's why we're providing funding to the Rick Hansen Foundation to help municipalities expand accessibility."

Other cities part of the $5-million investment consist of Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Richmond and Whistler.

Seven more, including two Indigenous communities, are set to be selected at a later date.