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April 30, 2014

The New Building Canada Fund is Officially Launched

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The new Building Canada Fund was officially launched on March 28. CWWA distributed a communique to our members with details and analysis on the funds and the application process.

The new Fund is the key element of the government’s Long Term Infrastructure Plan, allocating $53 billion into this New Building Canada Plan to support infrastructure projects of national, regional and local significance. The government is proud to launch this program as the "largest and longest federal infrastructure plan in our nation's history."

CWWA  made presentations to the Infrastructure Round Tables and provided submissions to the minister in the developing stages of this program. We had not only called for the funding assistance, but also support for asset management programs. While we are pleased with the government’s investment in infrastructure renewal and the indexing of the gas tax, we had hoped that water and wastewater infrastructure would be identified as priority projects. On the contrary, the gas tax was opened to wider competition including recreation, culture and economic development. This non-recognition of water systems as a priority is echoed in the government’s press release statements that stress international trade and highway gridlock, bridges and transit. Unfortunately, our sector must fall under the "other" infrastructure category.

So our task is clear. We as the water professionals must strive to get our infrastructure renewal needs recognized as priority projects that are critical to the health and economy of every community.  CWWA and the Regional Water and Wastewater Associations, along with WEF and AWWA, are working to provide support to the water leaders in the municipal sector that can assist in this mission. We continue to support asset management programs for all communities and we will work with our members to have critical water and wastewater projects recognized at the local level as top priorities.

Further details on how to submit a project for consideration under the New Building Canada Fund are available on Infrastructure Canada's website.


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