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Posted: February 18, 2014

Economy to benefit from New Building Canada Plan: Wilks

David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia, Feb. 13 highlighted important details of the $53B New Building Canada Plan.

These details, which relate to key elements of the New Building Canada Fund, provide provinces, territories and municipalities with the information they need to plan infrastructure projects in their jurisdictions. They include dedicated funding for small communities, Provincial-Territorial allocations, project categories eligible for support, cost-sharing thresholds and public-private partnership (P3) screening requirements, notes a federal government press release.

Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on past infrastructure investments, with $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, including the $53 billion New Building Canada Plan for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure. The New Building Canada Plan, which is expected to launch this spring, is the largest, long-term infrastructure plan in Canada’s history and it will continue to focus on projects that enhance economic growth.

In 2007, the government provided $33 billion in stable, flexible and predictable funding across the country. In fact, $6 billion under existing programs will continue to flow to projects across the country this year and beyond, and municipalities are also receiving $2 billion a year through the federal Gas Tax Fund.

MP David Wilks
MP David Wilks

“Our government has proudly made unprecedented investments in Canada’s infrastructure since 2006. I am extremely happy to announce that we have now released specific details about the New Building Canada Plan,” explained Wilks. “With the release of these details, our communities have the information needed to develop their local infrastructure priorities and start planning for the years ahead.”

“Through the original Building Canada Plan, infrastructure stimulus measures and other infrastructure initiatives, the federal government has supported over 43,000 projects in Canada that have created jobs and economic growth and contributed to a higher quality of life for Canadian families,” he added.

Quick facts

The $53 billion New Building Canada Plan is the largest, long-term federal infrastructure plan in Canadian history, providing stable funding for a 10-year period.

Over $32 billion is specifically available for municipalities through the permanent and indexed Gas Tax Fund and the incremental Goods and Services Tax Rebate for municipalities.

The government’s new plan includes a $14 billion New Building Canada Fund, which will have $10 billion for provinces and territories (with $1 billion directed to small communities under 100,000) and $4 billion for projects of national significance.

Through the P3 Canada Fund, $1.25B in new funding is available.

And that funding opportunity is something the City of Cranbrook will be keeping its eyes on moving forward.

City chief administrative officer Wayne Staudt told city council last night (Feb. 17) that three priority projects (sewage lagoon transfer pipes to Spray Irrigation; Idlewild dam and dredging work; and 2nd Street South upgrades) could benefit from additional federal government funding.

“We’re not sure yet if it’s a one-third requisition from the municipality. For any one of those projects we have to put up our own money,” he said.

Coun. Gerry Warner said the city should try to seize upon funding to construct a railway overpass, noting how he doesn’t understand how a town like Whitefish (Montana), less than half Cranbrook’s size, can afford to have a four-lane overpass.

“If a town that small can have something like that, why can’t we?” He queried.

Mayor Wayne Stetski said the city needs to stick to its current plans, pointing out the three projects listed by Staudt as priorities for the city at this time.

“For this year we’d be happy with one, two or three of those,” he said.

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