EDMONTON – The province of Alberta announced a bilateral agreement this month that will make more than $1.08 billion in funding available under two new federal programs – the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.
"Infrastructure is the foundation of the Canada we want to build for tomorrow," said Amarjeet Sohi, federal minister of infrastructure and communities in a statement.
"The Government of Canada recognizes that we need a solid partnership with all orders of government to support infrastructure and create good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today. We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Alberta, which will make over $1.08 billion in funding available so that Alberta communities can address their specific infrastructure priorities, while helping grow the middle class with good, well-paying jobs."
The federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of funding – more than $543 million – for projects supported through these programs and the provincial government and municipalities will provide the balance of funding.
"Working together, we are improving people’s access to clean water, improved wastewater treatment facilities and public transportation, all while supporting economic growth," said Brian Mason, Alberta minister of infrastructure and minister of transportation.
"These investments not only help Albertans get back to work, they also mean better services and better quality of life for everyone."
Also announced was an initial list of approved projects in Alberta under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The list includes 46 transit projects across Edmonton to support critical planning for the city’s next LRT expansion, as well as buses, LRT cars and significant infrastructure upgrades for the city’s existing transit system.
It also includes 17 water and wastewater projects, such as a regional water supply system extension in Bonnyville, Alta. that will give residents access to clean and reliable drinking water, supporting future growth and quality of life, and better protecting the local environment.
"I’d like to thank both the provincial and federal governments for their commitment to infrastructure investments in our city and I look forward to continuing our work together to support an effective public transportation system in Edmonton," said Don Iveson, Edmonton’s mayor in a statement. "It’s a critical component of infrastructure that supports the success of this city and its residents."
This funding is part of the first phase of Investing in Canada, the Government of Canada’s historic $120-billion plan to support public infrastructure across the country over the next 10 years.
Phase 1 of Investing in Canada provides $11.9 billion in investments to support public transit systems, green infrastructure projects, and social infrastructure projects. Details on Phase 2 of Investing in Canada will be announced over the coming months.
This marks the tenth agreement the Government of Canada has signed with provincial and territorial partners in the last two months. As of today, over $5.1 billion is flowing to provinces and territories who have signed onto agreements for the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.
Under this agreement, the Government of Canada has made its funding retroactive to April 1, so projects can proceed without delay to ensure a productive construction season.
Transit projects outside of Edmonton and Calgary will be announced in the coming weeks. This funding will add to the Government of Alberta’s Budget 2016 five-year commitment to invest more than $1.9 billion in municipal water and wastewater improvement projects and public transportation.