Partnership to Invest in N.S. Communities
SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Partnership to Invest in N.S. Communities
The province and the federal government signed a six-year Infrastructure Canada-Nova Scotia partnership agreement in Halifax today.
Premier John Hamm and Angus MacIsaac, Minister for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, joined Lucienne Robillard, the federal Minister responsible for Infrastructure and President of the Treasury Board of Canada, at the formal signing ceremony.
This agreement will mean a total investment of $196 million in infrastructure for Nova Scotia. The federal, provincial and municipal governments will contribute equal amounts.
The premier and the ministers said the partnership is an excellent example of how different levels of government can work together for the benefit of Canadians.
"We said that we would work with municipalities and the federal government to fund essential infrastructure projects and we're delivering on that promise today," said Premier Hamm. "This agreement is a major investment in strong communities, in opportunities for Nova Scotians."
"The Infrastructure Canada-Nova Scotia partnership is a reflection of our shared commitment to building a more dynamic economy, and improving quality of life for Canadians in all parts of Canada," said Madame Robillard.
The first priority for Infrastructure Canada investment in Nova Scotia, as in the rest of Canada, is 'green' municipal infrastructure, such as sewer, water and other projects that protect or improve the environment.
Secondary priorities for the program include local transportation, cultural and recreational facilities, infrastructure supporting tourism, rural and remote telecommunications, high-speed Internet access for local public institutions and affordable housing.
"Nova Scotia municipalities have been looking forward to this agreement," said Mr. MacIsaac. "The projects we fund will make our communities even more attractive places for business expansions, potential new investors and for citizens."
Infrastructure Canada has been a "bottom up" program from the beginning, and it will continue to be so. Municipalities will set their own infrastructure priorities, and mechanisms are in place to allow municipalities to be consulted through the life of the program.
"Municipal leaders are pleased with the go-ahead for the infrastructure program.," said Anna Allen, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. "Nova Scotians from Sydney to Yarmouth will benefit from this partnership, which will see municipal infrastructure priorities being addressed."
With the signing of the agreement, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, or ACOA, takes responsibility for federal involvement in the implementation of Infrastructure Canada in Nova Scotia, under the direction of George Baker, Secretary of State for ACOA. The infrastructure agreement will be managed for the province by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.
The agreement provides for the establishment of a joint management committee to administer the program and recommend projects for funding.
As part of its commitment to undertake initiatives that make a long-term contribution to a dynamic economy, the federal government has allocated $2.65 billion for its share of a new, cost-shared physical infrastructure program. Infrastructure Canada deals with municipal infrastructure. A strategic highways component, with funding of up to $600 million of the total allocation, is administered by Transport Canada.
Through the Infrastructure Canada partnership, federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments will invest a total of $6 billion in municipal infrastructure in urban and rural communities across Canada.
kjd October 4, 2000 3:31 p.m.