An agreement was signed yesterday for the renewed federal Gas Tax Fund, which is aimed at providing predictable, stable funding for public infrastructure throughout New Brunswick.
The fund provides municipalities with the flexibility to choose and plan infrastructure projects based on their specific priorities. The renewed agreements will govern the flow of federal funds to each province and territory over the next 10 years, from 2014-15 until 2023-24.
“Today's event is excellent news for our communities, and I am confident that they will have more flexibility than ever before in choosing the best projects for their needs,” said Premier David Alward. “This is another important step in moving New Brunswick forward and making it a place where people want to live, work and invest.”
Since 2006, the fund has been extended, doubled, indexed and made permanent. By enshrining these commitments in legislation, provinces, territories and municipalities are assured of an ongoing funding stream to address their municipal infrastructure needs and priorities.
“Our government's commitment to communities has never been stronger,” said Rob Moore, federal minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Through our unprecedented financial support for public infrastructure, we are ensuring communities across the country enjoy a high standard of living, new economic opportunities, and a safe, healthy environment. We are proud to support economic growth across New Brunswick by supporting your infrastructure priorities through the federal Gas Tax Fund. We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with New Brunswick which will make this important funding available and allow communities to address their specific infrastructure priorities.”
Under the renewed fund, eligible categories have also been expanded, providing municipalities with more flexibility to support local infrastructure.
“We are pleased that the Gas Tax Fund is helping us to foster a healthy environment and sustainable communities throughout our province,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Danny Soucy. “We will continue to work with our federal partners and with our communities to support projects that will help them to grow and prosper.”
More than 600 projects benefitted from funding from the last Gas Tax Fund Agreement in New Brunswick. For example, during the last construction season, the federal Gas Tax Fund supported:
– storm sewer separation in the Town of Dalhousie;
– reconstruction of a sidewalk in the Village of Tide Head;
– an integrated system for a recreational centre in the Village of Richibucto; and
– a sewer forcemain project in the Town of Sussex.
Eligible investment categories under the fund include: drinking water; wastewater and solid waste; public transit; local roads and bridges; community energy systems; capacity building; disaster mitigation; broadband and connectivity; highways; short-line rail; short-sea shipping; brownfield redevelopment; regional and local airports; and projects supporting culture, tourism, sport and recreation.