WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2011) - The Government of Canada announced today that six municipalities have been approved for low-cost infrastructure loans as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister for Manitoba on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
"Our Government understands the importance of infrastructure in maintaining strong and prosperous communities," said Minister Toews. "The Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program has enabled municipalities both here in Manitoba and across Canada to invest in water and waste services, firehalls and other housing-related infrastructure projects that are essential to growing their communities".
Joining the Minister at today's announcement was City of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz. The City of Winnipeg has been approved for more than $13 million in low-cost loans from CMHC's Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program (MILP). These loans are being used to upgrade the city's water distribution system and for a number of its paramedic fire stations. These projects will contribute to the health and safety of the residents of the City of Winnipeg. This is a great example of how the Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program is improving community infrastructure while creating jobs for Canadians.
"The support of the federal government through this program is greatly appreciated as it provides us, as a municipality, the ability to further strengthen the safety and stability of our neighbourhoods in the delivery of key services," said Mayor Katz.
Today, we are also announcing seven other projects across Manitoba that have received contributions from the Government of Canada totaling more than $18 million.
The City of Flin Flon has been approved for more than $4.4 million in a low-cost loan to build a new water treatment plant and reservoir to meet new drinking water standards under the Drinking Water Safety Act, the Rural Municipality of Hanover has been approved for $5.7 million in low-cost loans to upgrade their wastewater and drinking water treatment systems, the Rural Municipality of Headingley has been approved for $7.5 million in a low-cost loan to upgrade their wastewater treatment plant and expand their drinking water reservoir, the Rural Municipality of Springfield has been approved for $491,000 in a low-cost loan to expand their storm water drainage system, and the Village of Crystal City has been approved for $200,000 in a low-cost loan from to upgrade their wastewater treatment plant.
Canada's Economic Action Plan provided $2 billion over two years in direct low-cost loans to municipalities. Municipal infrastructure loans were available to any municipality in Canada and provided a new source of funds for municipalities to invest in housing-related infrastructure projects. These low-cost loans could be used by municipalities to fund their contribution for cost-shared federal infrastructure programming.
Eligible projects included infrastructure related to housing services such as water, power generation and waste services, as well as local transportation infrastructure within and into residential areas, such as roads, sidewalks, lighting, firehalls and residential green spaces.
CMHC has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 65 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, environmentally sustainable, affordable housing solutions, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.
More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, a plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.
HELPING MUNICIPALITIES BUILD STRONGER COMMUNITIES
CMHC's Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program
Canada's Economic Action Plan provided $2 billion in direct low-cost loans to municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure projects in towns and cities across the country. The Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program (MILP) is administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
These infrastructure loans were available to any municipality within Canada and provided a new source of funds for municipalities to invest in housing-related infrastructure projects. Only infrastructure projects serving new or existing residential areas were considered.
Eligible municipal infrastructure projects needed to be directly related to housing, thereby contributing to the efficient functioning of residential areas. Projects included infrastructure related to the provision of housing services such as water, wastewater and solid waste services; power generation; local transportation infrastructure within or into residential areas such as roads, bridges and tunnels; and residential sidewalks, lighting, pathways, landscaping, firehalls and residential green spaces.
There was a focus on funding projects that were construction-ready, as this was a targeted, short-term, temporary measure intended to create jobs.
These low-cost loans significantly decreased the cost of borrowing for municipalities and could be used by them to fund their contribution for cost-shared federal infrastructure programming.
Loans were approved on a first-come, first-served basis, provided the proposals met eligibility requirements. To facilitate equitable access to the program, applications were encouraged from both urban and rural municipalities across Canada.
CMHC screened applications against program eligibility, readiness to proceed and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency requirements.
For more information visit CMHC's Web site at www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.