With a $243-million partnership between the federal and provincial governments, communities in British Columbia will see increased investments in water infrastructure through the Environmental Quality program, a funding stream under the Investing in Canada plan.
“It is essential that British Columbians are able to access clean and safe drinking water,” said Selina Robinson, B.C.’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By partnering with the federal government and local governments, we can improve the quality of drinking water and the reliability of wastewater systems to maintain the health of our communities, while protecting our environment.”
On May 31st, 2018, the Government of British Columbia will open the application process for local governments and First Nations for the new Environmental Quality program. The program will provide access to funding for projects to improve community infrastructure.
“The Environmental Quality program is an extremely important component of our historic infrastructure agreement with the federal government,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “By making smart investments in core services like local drinking water and waste water systems, we’re helping build public infrastructure for the next generation, and making life better for people.”
Examples of projects that will receive funding from this program include improvements to drinking water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure, solid waste diversion, brownfield remediation, and resource recovery, such as methane from wastewater treatment or landfills.
“Local governments and communities are taking on vital projects that will support their natural infrastructure,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
The Environmental Quality program is the first to be announced under the Integrated Bilateral Agreement between the Province and the Government of Canada under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The agreement commits $3.9 billion in funding for infrastructure projects throughout the province through four funding streams.
- Public Transportation Stream
- Green Infrastructure Stream
- Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream
- Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream
“The Government of Canada is proud to support the Environmental Quality program, which will bring British Columbians cleaner drinking water and more efficient waste water and storm water management systems,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Thanks to these investments, we are helping safeguard public health, protect regional waterways, and support clean economic growth for B.C.’s communities.”
The Province will contribute $110.5 million to the program, while the Government of Canada will contribute $132.6 million.
Combined with local contributions, the Environmental Quality program will provide up to $331 million toward critical environmental infrastructure projects. Beginning May 31st, 2018, local governments and First Nations can apply through the ICIP-BC program website: www.gov.bc.ca/Investing-in-Canada-Infrastructure-Program
The Province is administering the program and will accept funding applications until August 29th, 2018. Approvals will be made public in spring 2019.