Canadian Province Grants $10 Million To Public Benefit Aviation Group


A Canadian province is leveraging the power of public benefit aviation to bolster its government-run healthcare system and ensure timely care for cancer patients. The British Columbia government has given a $10 million grant to Hope Air, a volunteer organization that has provided tens of thousands of free flights, both on airliners and through a network of volunteer GA pilots, for people who have to travel to get the health care they need. “Dealing with cancer is very hard—traveling to care should not be. This medical travel funding grant will be transformational in the lives of people in need in rural and remote communities throughout British Columbia,” said Mark Rubinstein, Chief Executive Officer at Hope Air.

B.C. is bigger than the combined area of Washington, Oregon and California but has only 5.5 million people, most of whom live within 100 miles of the U.S. border. That’s also where most specialized health facilities have been built.  For those living in more far-flung areas, air travel to the cities is often expensive or nonexistent. B.C. does have a good network of community airports and that’s where Hope Air’s volunteer pilots can provide the service. The government also gave $10 million to the Canadian Cancer Society to help it dovetail the transportation and accommodation services it provides with those provided by Hope Air.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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