Local Government

First gas-tax project completed (08/09/05)

NB 1267

Sept. 5, 2008

QUISPAMSIS (CNB) - A ceremony here today marked the completion of a municipal water tower and associated distribution system - the first project in New Brunswick announced under a federal-provincial gas tax fund (GTF) agreement.

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Under the Canada-New Brunswick Agreement on the Transfer of Federal Gas Tax Revenues and the Provincial Gas Tax Transfer Top-up Fund, Quispamsis will receive $2,803,280 by 2010. The Town of Quispamsis also contributed $50,000, for an estimated total project cost of $2,853,280.

"Today's milestone is a celebration for the Town of Quispamsis as it represents the completion of the first project being funded under the GTF in New Brunswick," said Social Development Minister Mary Schryer. "Renewing and maintaining community infrastructure is important for our government to attain self-sufficiency as a province. It is crucial to continue co-operating with our federal counterparts to enable New Brunswick municipalities such as Quispamsis to respond to their infrastructure needs."

Schryer attended on behalf of Local Government Minister Carmel Robichaud.

Funding has been used to construct a 2,270,000-litre (500,000-gallon) elevated composite water storage reservoir on Millennium Drive, and to install 1,250 linear metres of water distribution main. The system will provide fire protection and increase water distribution to commercial, institutional and residential customers in the Market Street, Millennium Drive and Autumn Avenue areas, up to and including the Hampton Road. It will permit expansion in accordance with the town's municipal development plan. The development will address environmental concerns.

"The completion of this new water tower marks an important milestone in the improvement of New Brunswick water infrastructure," said Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore. "Clean, safe drinking water will have a positive impact on the residents of Quispamsis and the environment. This is an example of our commitment to Canada's infrastructure."

Moore attended on behalf of Lawrence Cannon, minister of transport, infrastructure and communities.

To receive its first payment under the GTF, the Town of Quispamsis submitted a five-year capital investment plan for review by the province. It then signed an agreement with the Department of Local Government to implement the plan.

"The Town of Quispamsis is grateful for this funding received under the GTF," said Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll. "Without this financial support, it would have been difficult for us to proceed with the construction of the water tower and distribution system, which were greatly needed."

New Brunswick communities will receive $116.1 million from the GTF from 2005 to 2010, to which the Government of New Brunswick will add $30 million. Following the 2007 federal budget, a further $178.5 million in GTF will be given New Brunswick communities from 2010 to 2014, for a total of $294.6 million in federal funding over nine years.

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, including the gas tax funding.

In addition, in Budget 2008, the Government of Canada announced that the gas tax fund will become permanent from 2014, at $2 billion annually for provinces and territories. This will facilitate long-term planning by municipalities.

08/09/05

MEDIA CONTACTS: Daniel Lessard, public affairs officer, Department of Local Government, 506-444-4693; Catherine Loubier, director of communications, Office of the Minister of Transport; Infrastructure and Communities, 613-991-0700.

08/09/05