A 200% INCREASE IN THE GAS TAX FUND BENEFITS COMMUNITIES
OTTAWA (17 March 2009) – “Long-term infrastructure funding for communities across Vegreville-Wainwright has more than doubled, thanks to the federal Gas Tax Fund,” states Leon Benoit, MP. “One of several funds the federal government makes available to our local communities, the Gas Tax Fund supports environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure projects that contribute to cleaner air, cleaner water and reduced pollution.”
“As a result of our Conservative government, this funding is now permanent, providing communities with reliable, stable funding which will allow them to move forward on long-term municipal infrastructure projects,” explains Benoit. “This year, Municipal District of Provost ($133,427), Czar ($31,795), Chauvin ($31,795) and Amisk ($31,795) can apply for a total of $228,812 in infrastructure money for projects such as improving: community energy; drinking water; wastewater infrastructure; green energy; solid waste management; roads and bridges.”
Under the previous government, the funding available to these areas was $76,309, and it was unreliable from year to year.
“In almost every case, under our Conservative government Gas Tax funding levels have almost doubled,” says Benoit. “And, thanks to prudent fiscal management, they should double again over the next few years. This is great news for towns, counties and municipalities who have been planning major infrastructure projects. Our economy will also benefit as a result.”
Benoit also pointed out that municipalities can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, which provides significant additional financial flexibility. To ensure accountability to Canadians, communities report on their use of the funds’ activities on an annual basis.
“In addition to making the Fund permanent, our Government has steadily increased the amount available per community since being elected in 2006,” states Benoit. “In response to input we received from across Canada, we also have ensured that communities under 100,000 will receive a portion of the funds available. Previously, smaller communities found themselves unable to ‘compete’ against larger ones who have generally more administrative resources to apply for funding. We’ve levelled the playing field.”