Canada and British Columbia reach agreement for important water and wastewater upgrades
Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and the Honourable Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, signed a bilateral agreement that will make more than \\$450.1 million in combined funding available under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF). The federal government is providing up to 50% of this funding, amounting to more than \\$225 million for projects while the provincial government will invest more than \\$148.5 million, allowing local governments to contribute only 17% instead of the typical 33%. This funding represents the largest local government infrastructure program in over 15 years in British Columbia.
Also announced today was an initial list of 35 approved projects under the CWWF. The list includes important work to construct a water filtration plant at the Arbutus Treatment Plant in Ladysmith that will give residents access to clean and reliable drinking water, replace the aging 5th Avenue water tower in Burns Lake, and replace various lift stations in West Vancouver.
The application intake will open following the signing of the agreement between the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia on September 30, 2016. Intake will close on Wednesday, November 23, 2016. More information and applications can be found at: www.gov.bc.ca/cleanwaterwastewaterfund.
The agreement is part of Phase 1 of the \\$120 billion, 10-year Investing in Canada plan and represents a major milestone in the roll out of this plan, as it is the final agreement to be signed with provinces and territories. Earlier this year, Canada and British Columbia concluded an agreement that provided \\$900 million in combined federal-provincial-municipal funding to provide high-quality public transit systems that get residents of British Columbia to work on time and back home safely at the end of a long day.
"Infrastructure is the foundation of the Canada we want to build for tomorrow. The Government of Canada recognizes that we need a solid partnership with all orders of government to support infrastructure and create good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today. We are very pleased to have reached this agreement for clean water and wastewater so that British Columbia communities can address their specific infrastructure priorities, while helping grow the middle class with good, well-paying jobs."
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi,
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
"This agreement is an example of another successful partnership with the Government of Canada that will benefit all British Columbians. The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund will enable local governments to meet immediate priorities in critical infrastructure while supporting a cleaner and healthier environment for communities across B.C. Today's investments will build stronger communities long into the future by providing increased economic growth."
The Honourable Peter Fassbender,
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
"This funding is another example of the importance of working closely with local governments to invest in vital local services that make a difference to their communities. It is through partnerships like these that we can make sure British Columbians have access to services they can depend on such as clean water."
The Honourable Todd Stone,
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
- Under the CWWF agreement, the Government of Canada has made its funding retroactive to April 1, 2016, so projects can proceed without delay to ensure a productive construction season.
- Details on Phase 2 of Investing in Canada will be announced in the coming months.
- The initial list of 35 projects was created from current funding applications that meet the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund criteria.
- The remaining funding (84% or \\$313.5 million) will be allocated through an application intake process that opens today, Friday, September 30, 2016, and will close Wednesday, November 23, 2016.