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Canada and British Columbia governments to invest $279m in 144 water projects

Published 20 March 2017

The governments of Canada and British Columbia have announced a total investment of about $279m in 144 drinking water and wastewater projects in the province.

The funding for the projects in the British Columbia province will be offered through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF). The investment for the projects is part of a bilateral agreement between the Federal Government of Canada and the Provincial Government of British Columbia announced last September.

While the federal government will provide up to 50% of funding, which is more than $140m, the Provincial government will invest about $92.38m and local governments will contribute the remaining $47.54m.

The funding will cover infrastructure projects across the province including new water treatment plant in West Kelowna; an upgrade for the drinking water system and universal metering project in Balfour; and design work in Elkford for new water mains.

The projects which will receive funding will also include water main extension in Oak Bay, wastewater lagoon aeration upgrades in Tumbler Ridge, extensive sewer work in Vancouver and a combined sewer separation project in Burnaby.

Government of Canada, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi said: “Infrastructure is the foundation of the Canada we all want to build for tomorrow. Both large and small communities can find it challenging to fund much-needed water and wastewater infrastructure, which is why the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund is so important.

“This latest round of approved projects will protect the environment, keep communities in British Columbia healthy, and will create well-paying jobs for the middle class.”

Burnaby City Councillor Colleen Jordan said: “The City of Burnaby is committed to sustainability and sewer separation is a key environmental initiative.

“Since 1998, we've been upgrading our old sewer systems to separate clean runoff from sewer, reducing the quantity of wastewater directed to treatment facilities, saving taxpayer dollars, and ensuring untreated waste doesn’t reach our rivers and streams.

“It's a labour-intensive project that takes many years. We are thrilled to be able to apply these funds immediately to this critical ongoing project.”

The Government of Canada plans to invest about 135bn in infrastructure in the coming 12 years in public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation supporting trade and the country’s rural and northern communities.