Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

November 15, 2012 14:30 ET

Harper Government Invests in Improvements to Merritt's Community Infrastructure

MERRITT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2012) - Today, Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced federal support for upgrades to the Merritt Civic Centre under the Harper Government's Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).

"Modernization of the Merritt Civic Centre will improve the safety of the facility and enhance local community services," said MP Albas. "This will strengthen the local tourism industry, which will lead to increased capacity for our hotels and businesses."

The federal investment of over $128,000 will help the City replace the lighting system, upgrade the main electrical system, replace the rooftop unit, install an A/V system, restore the flooring and walls, and enhance the kitchen facilities to a commercial catering level.

"The City of Merritt is very appreciative of the support received from this program. We believe this will benefit both Merritt and the region for years to come," said City of Merritt Mayor Susan Roline. "We now have the potential to impact the ability to safely provide programs to the citizens of Merritt and region, while at the same time providing widespread economic development within the region impacting hotels, motels, restaurants, service industries and volunteer organizations."

CIIF supports, on a cost-shared basis, repairs and improvements to existing community infrastructure accessible to the public. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is delivering the Fund in Western Canada with an allocation of $46.2 million over two years.

Since 2006, the Harper Government, through WD, has invested in job-creating small and medium-sized businesses, aerospace, marine and defence industries, and supported innovative entrepreneurs in pursuing emerging markets. By continuing to promote new economic opportunities, WD is helping to create jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.

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Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund

Through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF), the Harper Government has committed to supporting communities and creating jobs through repairs and improvements to existing community facilities over the next two years. The Fund is being delivered by the regional development agencies across Canada. In Western Canada, Western Economic Diversification is delivering over $46 million towards eligible projects.

The construction of new infrastructure and repairs to facilities that are primarily for commercial or for-profit activities are ineligible. Facilities must be accessible for use by the public and not limited to a private membership. All projects are required to be completed by March 31, 2014.

Organizations eligible to apply for funding under CIIF include:

  • local or regional governments or related agencies;
  • provincial entities that provide municipal-type services to communities;
  • non-profit organizations; and
  • First Nation governments, including Band or Tribal Councils or their legally-designated representatives.

Examples of the type of community infrastructure that can be supported under CIIF include:

  • community centres;
  • cultural centres;
  • parks;
  • libraries;
  • recreational facilities (e.g. local arenas, swimming pools, sports fields, and other types of recreational facilities);
  • tourism facilities having a local impact; and
  • other existing community infrastructure assets which have a local community impact such as connectivity and broadband and local airports.

Please refer to the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund website for more information.

Contact Information

  • Jaime Burke
    Regional Communications Manager
    Western Economic Diversification Canada
    Vancouver, British Columbia

    James Umpherson
    Economic Development Officer
    City of Merritt

    WD Toll-Free Number: 1 888 338-WEST (9378)
    Teletypewriter (TTY): 1 877 303-3388
    Website: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca