Canada helps protect York Region from impacts of extreme weather on water supply 

News release

York Region, Ontario, November 9, 2020—The safety and well-being of Canadians remains the Government of Canada’s top priority as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The federal government is taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, and continues to look ahead to see what more can be done. Investing in infrastructure to create jobs and strengthen local economies is a key part of these initiatives.

Today, Tony Van Bynen, Member of Parliament for Newmarket–Aurora and Helena Jaczek, Member of Parliament for Markham–Stouffville, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and Wayne Emmerson, York Region Chairman and CEO, announced funding to upgrade the water supply, treatment, and storage of drinking water in northern York Region.

The northern York Region’s water supply, which is primarily sourced from lake water, is regularly impacted by extreme weather. The investment in groundwater treatment upgrades will improve the long-term reliability and robustness of the interconnected local groundwater supply system that is located in four communities.  

The Government of Canada is investing over $18.1 million in this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). The Regional Municipality of York is contributing more than $27 million to the project.

This is one of many flood-related projects funded in the Toronto area, including investments to combat erosion along the waterfront and in city ravines, as well as upgrading watermains and culverts across the city. 

Quotes

“As in many regions across Canada, York Region’s communities are experiencing the impacts of climate change. The investments in the groundwater treatment upgrades will minimize the costly effects of severe weather events and ensure residents’ drinking water is protected for generations to come.”

Tony Van Bynen, Member of Parliament for Newmarket–Aurora, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Severe weather events are on the rise, and it is imperative that we invest in infrastructure that protects Canadians and their access to reliable water supply sources. Improvements to these systems will ensure residents have sustainable options to meet demands. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

Helena Jaczek, Member of Parliament for Markham–Stouffville, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Like most communities around the world, York Region is experiencing the impacts of climate change. Through the support of our federal partners, we continue to invest in critical infrastructure improvements to build resiliency in York Region’s groundwater supply system while also safeguarding the health of residents today and in the future.”

Wayne Emmerson, York Region Chairman and CEO

“The supply of safe, clean drinking water is one of the most important responsibilities that a municipality bears. Climate change is presenting new challenges and opportunities to source water closer to the end user and to build our facilities to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. This significant investment from the Federal Government will allow Newmarket and York Region to continue to be leaders in our important work to address climate change and to ensure that our residents never have to worry about the quality of their water.”

His Worship John Taylor, Mayor of the Town of Newmarket

Quick facts

  • The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts. 

  • To date, more than $1.8 billion has been announced through DMAF for 64 large-scale infrastructure projects that will help protect communities across the country from the threats of climate change. 

  • DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.

  • To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new stream has been added to the over $33-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund pandemic-resilient infrastructure. Existing program streams have also been adapted to include more eligible project categories. 

  • The COVID-19 Resilience Stream will help other orders of governments whose finances have been significantly impacted by the pandemic by increasing the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects. 

  • The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative will provide up to $31 million in existing federal funding to support communities as they deploy innovative new ways to adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years.

Associated links

Contacts

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-949-1759City
Chantalle.Aubertin@canada.ca

Jennifer Mitchell
Manager, Corporate Communications
The Regional Municipality of York
905-955-2533
jennifer.mitchell@york.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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