Canada and British Columbia invest in local infrastructure to help build community connections in the Vancouver Island Region
Courtenay-Comox, British Columbia, August 10, 2021 — The governments of Canada and British Columbia continue to invest in local infrastructure during this unprecedented time to meet the needs of communities across the province, enhance peoples’ quality of life, and support economic recovery from COVID-19.
Today, Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Josie Osborne, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, announced funding for 21 local infrastructure projects in the Vancouver Island Region. They were accompanied by Ronna-Rae Leonard, Member of Legislative Assembly for Courtenay-Comox, His Worship Russ Arnott, Mayor of Comox, His Worship Bob Wells, Mayor of Courtenay and His Worship John Ranns, Mayor of Metchosin.
Among the projects approved today, both the City of Courtenay and the Town of Comox will improve active transportation within their communities to promote a safe and active lifestyle. The projects in these communities include constructing bike lanes on 17th Street in Courtenay and on Comox Avenue in Comox. In addition, Comox will be improving pedestrian safety by creating sidewalks on the south side of the new bike path.
The District of Metchosin will repair a decommissioned elementary school as part of their Community Wellness Infrastructure Project. The project will create a multi-purpose facility that both the community of Metchosin and the neighbouring Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) First Nation can access to safely support day-to-day activities and gatherings within the community.
The Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation’s community centre and school building will be fitted with solar panels and a battery system. These fixtures will increase the community’s resiliency by providing a safe gathering space during frequent power outages, and reliable access to food and healthcare services during an emergency.
The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are investing over $12 million in the 21 projects announced on Vancouver Island through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream. Canada is contributing over $10.3 million, and B.C. is contributing over $1.7 million.
“I’m happy to announce a federal government investment of over $10.3 million to upgrade key local infrastructure in municipalities and Indigenous communities across Vancouver Island. Among other benefits, these projects will create multi-purpose pathways and upgrade community buildings, which will enhance community connections and offer residents more reliable public infrastructure. In addition, these investments will respond to community needs and help support local economies and create good jobs at a time when it is needed most.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Together with B.C., we are investing in local infrastructure to provide additional safe recreational spaces for everyone’s enjoyment in the Vancouver Island region. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates good jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam
“By investing in public infrastructure, we are building healthy, vibrant and connected communities and improving people’s quality of life as we emerge from the pandemic. Together, we are supporting the Town of Comox and the City of Courtenay’s improvements of active transportation networks, helping the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation provide the community with a much-needed safe sheltering place during frequent power outages, and assisting the District of Metchosin in its development of a new, multi-use facility to bring the community together. These are some of the many community projects we’re supporting with our local and federal partners to create jobs, improve community services and help our economy recover.”
The Honourable Josie Osborne, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs
“Communities across B.C. have been resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the province is providing support and making life better for people. In the Comox Valley, constructing more bike lanes and better sidewalks will provide local jobs and make it easier for people to get around the valley in an active, more environmentally-friendly way.”
Ronna-Rae Leonard, Member of British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly for Courtenay-Comox
“Improvements to the Mowachaht/Muchalaht Community Centre and school will help us respond better to urgent health and safety concerns, especially during frequent power outages. Having this safe space will provide our community with the opportunity to be well prepared, ensuring access to health care and food during an emergency, while strengthening and supporting our people in a way that aligns with our traditional values.”
Chief Maquinna of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation
“As the Town of Comox continues to grow, it’s critical that we invest in sustainable infrastructure projects that support our vision for a well-connected, accessible community where people can move around freely. The funding announced today represents an important step forward as we work to create an active transportation network that supports people of all ages and abilities.”
Russ Arnott, Mayor of the Town of Comox
“Health and wellness is important to everyone. The new bike lanes in Courtenay will create a safe and accessible active transportation network through the City, better connecting the community, and providing health and economic benefits for many years to come.”
Bob Wells, Mayor of Courtenay
“The District of Metchosin is excited to convert an old school into a safe and welcoming gathering place for people of all ages. This community improvement is the result of active, caring community members working in partnership with all levels of government to provide families living in the area with a place to hold a multitude of events for years to come.”
John Ranns, Mayor of the District of Metchosin
Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
Across B.C., the Government of Canada has invested more than $4.4 billion in over 600 infrastructure projects under the Investing in Canada plan.
The Province is investing $3.6 billion over a 10-year period under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program for British Columbia’s infrastructure initiatives.
To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure 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.
Under the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream, the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects is up to 80%, with the Province adding 20% to achieve 100% funding. The federal government is providing up to 100% funding in the territories and for projects intended for Indigenous communities.
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs
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