EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 14, 2013) - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health and Regional minister for Northern Alberta and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Employment and Social Development and Regional Minister for Southern Alberta, announced today that the Government of Canada is making available the second installment of its annual $2-billion federal Gas Tax Fund allocation for municipal infrastructure, bringing Alberta's total allocation this year to close to $200 million.
"Investments through the federal Gas Tax Fund are helping Alberta's communities address their local infrastructure priorities," said Minister Ambrose. "Our Government is proud to support infrastructure projects that create jobs, promote productivity and support economic growth."
"Across Canada, federal Gas Tax funds have been invested to improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, public transit, community energy systems, solid waste management and local roads," said Minister Kenney. "Our Government's infrastructure investments through the Gas Tax Fund will benefit municipalities across Alberta for years to come."
Canada's Gas Tax Fund provides predictable, long-term funding for Canadian municipalities to help them build and revitalize their local infrastructure while creating jobs and long-term prosperity. Funding is provided up front, twice a year to the Government of Alberta which delivers this funding within Alberta. Projects are chosen locally and prioritized according to the infrastructure needs of each community. Municipalities can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility. To date, close to $1.3 billion has been made available to Alberta under the current Gas Tax Fund.
The Gas Tax Fund has funded numerous initiatives across Alberta that support water and wastewater infrastructure, local roads, public transit, solid waste, community energy systems, active transportation and capacity building.
"The Alberta government is pleased to assist the Government of Canada in providing vital assistance to municipalities through the federal Gas Tax Fund, which helps build many infrastructure projects and supports our Building Alberta Plan," said Ric McIver, Minister of Alberta Transportation. "Alberta is happy to continue to work in co-operation with the federal government on funding programs that benefit our communities and we look forward to the introduction of the renewed federal Gas Tax Fund."
The Government of Canada has extended, doubled, indexed and made permanent the Gas Tax Fund. These improvements will see Canada's Gas Tax Fund grow from its current $2 billion per year while providing provinces and municipalities with predictable funding to deliver on local infrastructure priorities.
To read more about the Gas Tax Fund in Alberta, please see the attached backgrounder and visit: www.infrastructure.gc.ca/pub/infra/gtf-fte/gtf-fte-2013-eng.html.
For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or follow us on Twitter at @INFC_eng.
For further information about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
THE GAS TAX FUND IN ALBERTA
The federal Gas Tax Fund makes capital investments in important community infrastructure. Eligible investments currently include water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure, public transit, community energy systems, local roads and bridges, and capacity building. It provides predictable, stable funding, allowing municipalities to choose and plan the infrastructure priorities in their community.
Through the Gas Tax Fund, municipalities across Alberta have benefited from close to $1.3 billion in predictable and flexible funding for local priorities since the program began. The Government of Alberta administers the program on behalf of its municipalities.
Results for Alberta
The Gas Tax Fund is providing Albertans with stable funding that will have a tangible impact on their quality of life and the long-term sustainability of their communities. The Gas Tax Fund has provided funding towards various projects, including:
- A new transfer station for the villages of Innisfree, Minburn and Mannville, who collaborated to reduce the volume of solid waste being directed to landfills and lower costs associated with handling and transporting solid waste.
- Expansion of the Dez Liggett transit facility in St. Albert, supporting a more modern and efficient transit system.
- Upgrades to the pump house in the Village of Bittern Lake, providing for a safer and more reliable water distribution system.
How the Gas Tax Fund Works
Canada's Gas Tax Fund has provided $13 billion to Canadian communities to date. The funding allocation is based on population for most jurisdictions. In recognition of their population size, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut receive amounts equal to 0.75 percent of the total annual national allocation, allowing them to also make meaningful investments in infrastructure. Funding is provided up front, twice a year to provincial and territorial governments or to the municipal associations which deliver this funding within a province, as well as to the City of Toronto. Projects are chosen locally and prioritized according to the infrastructure needs of each community. Municipalities can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility.
On April 1, 2009, Gas Tax Fund payments doubled to $2 billion annually. In 2011, legislation was passed to make funding under the Gas Tax Fund permanent at $2 billion per year.
As announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, the eligible categories for the Gas Tax Fund will be expanded and the Fund will be indexed at 2 per cent a year in $100-million increments, starting in 2014, allowing municipalities even more flexibility to focus on their infrastructure priorities. The expanded categories include:
- projects supporting culture, tourism, sport and recreation;
- disaster mitigation;
- broadband communication systems;
- short-line rail;
- short-sea shipping;
- brownfield redevelopment; and
- local and regional airports.
Over the 10-year life of the New Building Canada Plan from 2014 to 2024, the Gas Tax Fund will provide close to $22 billion in funding for municipalities.
The Government of Canada is working with its provincial and territorial partners to ensure a seamless transition to the new funding.