Building Canada: Canada and Nova Scotia Sign $634 Million Infrastructure Agreement - New Highway 104 Antigonish Project identified as a priority under the Agreement



    ANTIGONISH, NS, Nov. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - To better address the
infrastructure needs and priorities of Nova Scotia, the governments of Canada
and Nova Scotia today announced the signing of a Framework Agreement worth
$634.38 million under Building Canada, the Government of Canada's new
long-term infrastructure plan. The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, along with the Honourable Peter
MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada
Opportunities Agency, the Honourable Rodney MacDonald, Premier of Nova Scotia,
and the Honourable Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
Renewal for Nova Scotia, participated in today's announcement.
    The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia also identified the
construction of Phase 1 of a new Highway 104 twinning project outside
Antigonish as a priority for funding under Building Canada.
    "The signing of a Framework Agreement between the Government of Canada
and Nova Scotia, in the spirit of open federalism, will result in significant
infrastructure initiatives that will strengthen Nova Scotia's economy,
communities, and contribute to a cleaner environment," said Minister Cannon.
    "The safety and security of our road system is a key priority for the
Government of Canada. The investment of a twinned highway outside Antigonish
is an example of how Building Canada is helping to ensure that Nova Scotians
have modern, safe and efficient infrastructure," stated Minister MacKay.
    "Today's announcement is a major step forward in improving our province's
infrastructure - its roads, green energy, public transit, its water and
wastewater systems," said Premier MacDonald. "We are taking a giant step
forward in building stronger, more vibrant communities in Nova Scotia."
    "This investment will go a long way towards helping us tackle our
infrastructure challenges over the coming years," said Minister Scott. "It
means Nova Scotia will have long-term, predictable funding to invest in safer
and smoother highways."
    The two governments have already identified an early priority for funding
consideration. The construction of the first phase of the 16-km twinning
project on Highway 104 outside Antigonish between Addington Forks Road and
Beech Hill Road will improve safety, ease congestion and cut travel time for
drivers. The Government of Canada will consider funding up to a maximum of 50%
of the eligible costs of the project, up to a maximum of $25 million. Total
costs of the first phase are estimated at $50 million. The Province of Nova
Scotia has also announced its intention to provide matching funding in support
of this important highway improvement plan. The overall cost of the project is
approximately $94 million.
    Federal financial support for the Highway 104 project is conditional on
the initiative meeting all applicable federal eligibility requirements under
the Building Canada infrastructure plan, including completion of a full
federal due diligence review of the project, successful completion of any
environmental assessments required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment
Act, and signature of necessary contribution agreements for the project.
    The Framework Agreement sets the stage for a collaborative investment in
the infrastructure needs of Nova Scotia. Under this Agreement, $235.68 million
from the Building Canada Fund will go towards infrastructure initiatives in
Nova Scotia. Of this amount, $37 million will be allocated to smaller-scale
projects in communities with populations of less than 100,000. As well,
$198.68 million of the Building Canada Fund will be dedicated to major
infrastructure projects, particularly in priority areas such as the National
Highway System, transit, water and wastewater treatment and green energy. This
component will support investments in Cape Breton and Halifax. Under the
Framework Agreement, the Province of Nova Scotia will also receive $25 million
base funding annually, for a total of $175 million through to 2014 for core
infrastructure priorities in Nova Scotia. A further $223.70 million will flow
to Nova Scotia municipalities through the extension of the Gas Tax Fund
agreement from 2010 to 2014.
    The Canada-Nova Scotia Framework Agreement outlines how the Building
Canada Plan will operate in the province. It also establishes a governance
framework through which the two governments will work together to identify and
address infrastructure priorities. Through the Agreement, the two governments
will also establish a mechanism for reporting to Canadians on the results of
these investments.
    Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure
plan, the Government of Canada will provide long-term, stable and predictable
funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will
support a stronger, safer and better country.

    For further information on the Building Canada plan, visit
www.buildingcanada.gc.ca




For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries contact: Karine White,
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, (613) 991-0700; Dan Dugas, Director of Communications, Office of
the Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada,
Opportunities Agency, (613) 996-8553; Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148;
Dan Davis, Communications Advisor, Ministry of Transportation and
Infrastructure Renewal, Government of Nova Scotia, (902) 424-8978; Joe Gillis,
Premier's Office, (902) 497-7263


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