January 22, 2008
Nanaimo, British Columbia
The City of Nanaimo will reduce greenhouse gases and vehicle congestion by improving a busy stretch of road, thanks to an investment of $790,000 from the federal and provincial governments. The funding is provided through the Canada-B.C. Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CBCMRIF). The Fund enables communities across B.C. to become healthier, greener and more sustainable places to live.
The announcement was made today by James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni and Ron Cantelon, MLA for Nanaimo-Parksville.
Drivers and passengers of the more than 31,000 vehicles which travel on Comox Road daily will benefit from the upgrade. New traffic lights, widened traffic lanes and improved access to the Swy-a-lana Lagoon Park are part of the enhancements which will improve traffic flow and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from idling vehicles.
"This investment will ensure a more efficient and environmentally sustainable road system for some 31,000 passengers and drivers in Nanaimo," said MP Lunney on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification. "The Government of Canada is proud to work in partnership with the Province of British Columbia to help its communities grow as more vibrant and productive places to live, work and raise families."
"This is a great project that will help the environment and make it easier for drivers to get in and out of downtown," said Cantelon. "I applaud the City of Nanaimo for taking steps to ensure their community is more sustainable and vibrant."
Mayor Gary Korpan says that "This project will improve the flow of traffic, improving access to Nanaimo's historic downtown and Maffeo-Sutton Park. The City appreciates the participation of the senior governments in providing this much needed infrastructure." The majority of the program funding from the CBCMRIF, which was launched in June 2006, supports communities of fewer than 250,000 people in minimizing the costs to taxpayers of local infrastructure upgrades or new construction projects.
At least 60 per cent of the funding will assist with "green projects" that are geared towards enhancing environmental sustainability, such as water and waste-water systems, public transit and environmental energy improvements. Other infrastructure projects will support local roads, cultural and recreational facilities, tourism and broadband connectivity. The funding for this project is conditionally approved pending the successful completion of an environmental assessment.
The total amount available through the CBCMRIF, with federal and provincial investments and matching local government contribution, is over $220 million. More details on the program are available online at www.canadabcmrif.ca.
Jackie Stewart Western Economic Diversification Canada 604 666-1306
Marc Black B.C. Ministry of Community Services 250 356-6334
WD Toll-Free Number:1 888 338-WEST (9378)
Web Site: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca.