BC receives green infrastructure funding
Under the Canada-British Columbia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund agreement, both governments will contribute $51-million. Participating local governments are expected to match this amount for a total benefit to British Columbia B.C. of over $150-million. The federal and provincial governments and the Union of B.C. Municipalities will jointly implement the agreement.
A minimum of 80 per cent of funding will be targeted toward communities with a population under 250,000 people. At least 60 per cent of funding will assist with “green” projects helping rural communities and towns to address the following:
*drinking water supply, treatment and distribution needs;
*improve local wastewater and storm-water sewage treatment; and,
*enhance public transit and support environmental energy improvements.
Up to 40 per cent of the remaining funding will support local roads, culture, tourism, and recreation and connectivity projects.
Details on how B.C. communities can apply for funding are expected to be made available later this summer. It is anticipated all of the funding from this agreement will be committed within the next year.
The provincial and federal governments will begin negotiations in the coming months on a new, longer-term agreement to allow British Columbia communities to access the new $2.2-billion in national funding identified in the 2006 federal budget for the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund.
Alberta and Ontario have also reached agreements with the federal government that will bring close to $500 million to the two provinces for infrastructure development.
The Canada-British Columbia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund agreement is available online at www.infrastructure.gc.ca.