Aug. 19, 2008
PENOBSQUIS (CNB) - Residents of Penobsquis will soon have access to safe drinking water through a new regional water supply system. Premier Shawn Graham and Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore attended a sod-turning ceremony today to mark the beginning of construction of the new system.
The Government of Canada is contributing $7,795,000, and the Government of New Brunswick, $205,000. The total contribution of $8 million comes under the Canada-New Brunswick Agreement on the Transfer of Federal Gas Tax Revenues and the Provincial Gas Tax Transfer Top-up Fund. The Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (Potash Corp.) is contributing $1.3 million to the project, whose total estimated cost is $9.3 million.
"Today's milestone is an important day for the residents of Penobsquis," said Premier Shawn Graham. "Our government is committed to working with communities to ensure safe and adequate community infrastructure for all New Brunswickers, including residents of Penobsquis."
The new water supply system consists of about 12 kilometres of pipe to distribute the water to the residents. The system will also include a well house where chlorination will be introduced and an above-ground water reservoir for water storage.
"Today is a great day as we take this important step toward safer drinking water for residents of Penobsquis," said Moore. "By committing to make the gas tax fund permanent as of 2014, the federal government is taking action to ensure that New Brunswickers can count on healthier and more prosperous communities."
Moore was attending on behalf of Lawrence Cannon, minister of transport, infrastructure and communities.
New Brunswick municipalities will receive $116.1 million from the gas tax fund from 2005 to 2010, to which the Government of New Brunswick will add $30 million. Following budget 2007, a further $178.5 million in gas tax funding will be provided to New Brunswick communities from 2010 to 2014, for a total of $294.6 million in federal funding over nine years.
The Penobsquis Regional Water Supply Project is part of a five-year capital investment plan developed for unincorporated areas by the Department of Local Government the gas tax revenue agreement.
In December 2007, the governments of Canada and New Brunswick announced the signing of the Building Canada Framework Agreement. With this agreement, the Government of Canada committed to an investment of more than $541 million towards infrastructure needs in New Brunswick from 2007 to 2014.
In addition, in budget 2008, the Government of Canada announced that the bas tax fund will become permanent from 2014, at $2 billion per year. This will facilitate long-term planning by municipalities.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Daniel Lessard, public affairs officer, Department of Local Government, 506-444-4693; Karine White, press secretary, Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, 613-991-0700.