On March 9, 2018, it was announced that communities in British Columbia, Canada will receive nearly $193 million in revitalization funding from the federal Gas Tax Fund to renovate key buildings, perform infrastructure renewal projects to increase resilience, and generally improve quality of life.
The federal Government of Canada, along with the provincial Government of British Columbia, along with the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), made the announcement that 108 projects have already been approved, and four more have been conditionally approved.
“I am pleased to see the important work that will be done across British Columbia thanks to the federal Gas Tax Fund,” said Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Whether a community needs to expand its recreational centre, repair roads, or make energy-saving upgrades, the Government of Canada will continue to invest in the local infrastructure Canadians want and need.”
The funding supports a wide range of capital and capacity-building projects in communities throughout B.C., including upgrades to drinking- and waste-water facilities; recreational, sport and cultural infrastructure; local roads and bridges; solid waste management; community energy systems; and disaster mitigation measures.
“I’m thrilled to know that all of these projects are going forward, because I know they will make a positive impact for people in B.C.,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson. “Our government is committed to working with local governments throughout the province to make life better for all British Columbians. This is a great example of strong partnerships working together for the benefit of people in the community.”
One of the capital projects being funded this year will improve the drinking-water supply in the Village of Granisle.
Funding is also going towards raising the dikes along the Kicking Horse River in Golden, to provide flood protection for the historic downtown area.
The District of Lake Country will build a new multi-generational activity centre, upgrade the local arena and renovate the seniors centre, significantly boosting recreational and fitness opportunities in the community.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates how all levels of government are working to improve core infrastructure in B.C. communities,” said UBCM president Wendy Booth. “The federal Gas Tax Fund is providing long-term support to renew facilities and strengthen asset-management practices throughout the province. Local governments appreciate this support and welcome this investment.”
The 54 capacity-building projects will focus on improving communities’ asset management, a process that integrates information about a community’s physical assets and finances to support efficient local decision making and sustainable service delivery.
Some facts about the federal Gas Tax Fund:
- The total federal Gas Tax Fund contribution towards the 112 projects in B.C. is $192,980,158;
- This includes 58 capital projects ($184,539,746) and 54 capacity-building projects ($8,440,412);
- The Government of Canada provides more than $278 million in indexed, annual funding for local government infrastructure in B.C. through the federal Gas Tax Fund;
- UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in B.C., in partnership with the governments of Canada and B.C. The funding flows through UBCM to all local governments on a per capita basis;
- The funding for these projects comes through the application-based Strategic Priorities Fund of the federal Gas Tax Fund in B.C.
Photo of Golden, British Columbia by Fark14 via Wikipedia.