Water Haller – On the Eve of the Federal Budget and Infrastructure Plan (Phase 2)
On the Eve of the Federal Budget and Infrastructure Plan (Phase 2)
Many of you have already been receiving funds under Phase 1 of the federal Infrastructure Plan and the Canadian Water and Wastewater Fund. More funds have gone to our partners in the First Nations’ communities. Phase 1 allocated about $5 billion of the $20 billion committed to ‘green’ infrastructure and now we await the next federal budget and the announcements for Phase 2 and the remaining $15 billion. With additional provincial funding support and leveraged financing, we should see A LOT of infrastructure renewal in the coming years.
CWWA has been making presentations to Infrastructure Canada and to Minister Sohi and made written submissions that have been well received. I was most excited to hear that our water champion and Chair of the Liberal Caucus, MP Francis Scarpaleggia, was referring to our CWWA submission in his remarks to caucus.
Meanwhile, the FCM received over $125 million to deliver programs to municipalities - $50 million for the Municipal Asset Management Program and $75 million for the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program. These are the types of programs we have been calling for to assist us with capacity building and long term sustainability. We are representing our water/wastewater sector to the FCM and helping to get their message back to you.
CWWA is not alone in this effort. We have been working closely with our partners in other national organizations including Canadian Network of Asset Managers, Canadian Public Works Association, Canadian Water Resources Association, Canadian Water Network and the Forum for Leadership On Water. We have been sharing our pre-budget submissions and will work collaboratively to respond to the coming budget on behalf of the water/wastewater sector. We like the way things are going but will continue to call for consistent, long term, reliable funding for infrastructure and capacity building and for the policies and programs that encourage smart infrastructure renewal.
Window on Ottawa program is coming together and will be awesome of course. (I’m starting to sound like the Donald). But really, it is a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with national policy-makers. We have added a terrific workshop for the day before the Window that you don’t want to miss.
We are well into the Resiliency survey with Public Safety Canada and Dalhousie University that should lead to national programs for utilities.
We are leading an ad hoc team to develop an official Position on Lead. This team includes our Drinking Water Committee, AWWA, Canadian Water Network and leading academics. We hope to set out our Canadian situation and long term plan and provide appropriate information to utility leaders and decision-makers in Canada.