Dec. 22, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick municipalities may now obtain low-interest loans from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) green municipal fund (GMF) under an agreement announced today by Local Government Minister Bernard LeBlanc and Jean Perrault, FCM president.
"The municipal associations were supportive of achieving access to the GMF, recognizing early the potential interest savings for New Brunswick municipalities offered by this program," LeBlanc said. "They were strong advocates for the program and worked closely with the province in getting access to these funds."
The GMF offers grants for feasibility studies, field tests and sustainable community plans, which were already available to New Brunswick communities. In total, the GMF has approved 31 grant applications from New Brunswick municipalities, totalling $2.5 million.
"We are pleased to announce that by working closely with the Government of New Brunswick and the province's municipal associations, we have reached an agreement to ensure all New Brunswick municipalities enjoy full access to the GMF," said Perrault.
The three municipal associations include the Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick, the Cities of New Brunswick Association and the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick.
Following an agreement with the provincial government, municipalities now also have access to low-interest GMF loans through the New Brunswick Municipal Finance Corporation.
"I am pleased that municipalities are now able to take advantage of the loan component of the GMF," LeBlanc said. "This low-interest loan program, combined with the grant component of the fund, is another important source of funding for municipalities. By collaborating with organizations such as the FCM, we are assisting municipalities in improving and renewing their local infrastructure as we progress toward self-sufficiency."
The GMF also offers knowledge resources that include a range of publications, training workshops and programs that help municipal governments share expertise and strengthen their ability to set and surpass their sustainability goals.
"The GMF is an excellent way for all municipalities in New Brunswick to obtain low-interest loans and grants that will help them invest in their local sustainable infrastructure projects," said Perrault. "In the coming months, the fund will offer online training workshops to help New Brunswick municipalities navigate an increasingly streamlined application process."
The federal government has given the FCM a total of $550 million to establish and manage the GMF. It supports partnerships and leveraging of public- and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water, soil quality, and climate protection.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Daniel Lessard, public affairs, Department of Local Government, 506-444-4693, e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dave Weatherall, communications officer, Green Municipal Fund, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 613-907-6292, e-mail email@example.com.