August 29, 2005

Ottawa commits $147M in gas tax funds for sustainable infrastructure projects in Saskatchewan

SASKATOON, SASK- Saskatchewan municipalities will benefit from more than $147 million over five years in federal gas tax funding to be used for environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure and to support increased capacity to help municipalities plan more sustainable communities. An agreement on federal gas tax investments was signed on August 23 by Prime Minister Paul Martin and Saskatchewan Minister of Government Relations Len Taylor, along with Finance Minister Ralph Goodale and Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities) John Godfrey. Under its terms, $17.7 million will flow in the first year, ramping up to $59.1 million in year five and continuing at that level thereafter. Eligible infrastructure project categories include public transit, community energy systems, water, wastewater management and solid waste management. Roads and bridges will also qualify where it can be demonstrated that they will enhance environmental sustainability. To date, seven gas tax agreements have been signed, including British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut. In addition, agreements on new transit funding have been signed with Ontario and Quebec. The gas tax dollars are in addition to existing federal infrastructure programs such as the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund and the Border Infrastructure Fund. Over the past decade, these programs have committed more than $12 billion to infrastructure projects in communities across the country.

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