New Building Canada Plan details unveiled

Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks has announced some new details regarding the anticipated New Building Canada Plan.

Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks has announced some new details regarding the anticipated New Building Canada Plan.

The Town of Golden has been awaiting the criteria for the $53 billion plan, which will be distributed through grants for vital infrastructure projects. The details, which have been released to municipalities across the country, give communities the information the need to start planning their infrastructure projects.

It includes dedicated funding for small communities, Provincial-Territorial allocations, project categories eligible for support, cost-sharing thresholds and public-private partnership screening requirements.

“Our Government has proudly made unprecedented investments in Canada’s infrastructure since 2006. I am extremely happy to announce that we have now released specific details about the New Building Canada Plan,” said Wilks.

“With the release of these details, our communities have the information needed to develop their local infrastructure priorities and start planning for the years ahead.”

Golden has been planning for the fund since Wilks made a presentation to council in August of 2013.

He recommended to the municipalities in his riding that they each submit five proposals considered to be high priority, and keep the requests between $3 million and $15 million per proposal.

“If a community throws in 15 applications, it doesn’t do that community any good. What ends up happening is that the reviewers pick the one that is the easiest to do,” said Wilks.

“But if you give them five that are substantial, and each one of them makes a difference to your community, then you won’t be disappointed.”

Given that the exact criteria for the fund had not yet been released, the municipality has closer to 20 projects “grant ready.”

That way they would be more likely to have five important project ready to go, that qualify for the funding.

As is the case with most federal and provincial grant programs, Golden will be expected to come up with one third of the cost of any project the municipality receives funding for.

The possibility of borrowing money to come with the one third has been discussed in council chambers, and will likely have to be decided upon in the coming months.

The New Building Canada Plan, which is expected to launch in Spring 2014, is the largest, long-term infrastructure plan in our nation’s history and it will continue to focus on projects that enhance economic growth.

Over $32 billion is specifically available for municipalities through the permanent and indexed Gas Tax Fund and the incremental Goods and Services Tax Rebate for municipalities.

Through the original Building Canada Fund, the federal government supported more than 43,000 projects across Canada.