PORT COLBORNE, ON, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada announced today that the Regional Municipality of Niagara has been approved for an infrastructure loan as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
The Regional Municipality of Niagara has been approved for a low-cost loan of over $7.3 million from CMHC's Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program (MILP), to fund the expansion of its Seaway Wastewater Treatment Plant which services residents of Port Colborne. These upgrades will improve wastewater treatment facilities for the residents of Port Colborne and reduce the potential for future overflows of untreated sewage into the Welland Canal.
"Our Government understands the importance of infrastructure in maintaining strong and prosperous communities," said Minister Finley. "This program is opening the door for municipalities of all sizes to meet their housing-related infrastructure needs. Canada's Economic Action Plan is creating jobs and stimulating the economy right here in Port Colborne."
Canada's Economic Action Plan provides up to $2 billion in direct low-cost loans to municipalities, over two years, for housing-related infrastructure projects through the MILP. Municipal infrastructure loans are available to any municipality in Canada and provide a new source of funds for municipalities to invest in housing-related infrastructure projects. These low cost loans can also be used by municipalities to fund their contribution for cost-shared federal infrastructure programming.
"We are continually striving to improve the quality of life for Niagara residents, which includes protecting our environment," said Peter Partington, Chair, Niagara Region. "We are extremely grateful for the funding we received from both the federal and provincial governments via the Infrastructure Stimulus Funding/Canada Economic Action Plan and have invested that money in a number of significant projects, including upgrading the Seaway Wastewater Treatment Plant in Port Colborne."
Eligible projects include infrastructure related to housing services such as water, power generation and waste services, as well as local transportation infrastructure within and into residential areas, such as roads, sidewalks, lighting and green space.
As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.
More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, a plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.
More information, including applications forms, for municipalities wishing to apply for loans can be found at: www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.gc.ca.
HELPING MUNICIPALITIES BUILD STRONGER COMMUNITIES
CMHC Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program
Canada's Economic Action Plan provides up to $2 billion in direct low-cost loans to municipalities over two years through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)'s Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program (MILP) for housing-related infrastructure projects in towns and cities across the country.
These infrastructure loans are available to any municipality within Canada and will provide a new source of funds for municipalities to invest in housing-related infrastructure projects. Only infrastructure projects serving new or existing residential areas may be considered.
Eligible municipal infrastructure projects must directly relate to housing, thereby contributing to the efficient functioning of residential areas. Projects include infrastructure related to the provision of housing services such as water, wastewater and solid waste services; power generation; local transportation infrastructure within or into residential areas such as roads, bridges and tunnels; and residential sidewalks, lighting, pathways, landscaping and green space.
There will be a focus on funding projects that are shovel-ready, as this is a targeted, short-term, temporary measure intended to create jobs.
These low-cost loans will significantly decrease the cost of borrowing for municipalities and can be used by them to fund their contribution for cost-shared federal infrastructure programming.
Eligible loans will be approved largely on a first-come, first-served basis, provided the proposal meets eligibility requirements. However, CMHC will also seek to facilitate equitable access to the program and will work to encourage applications from urban and rural municipalities across Canada.
CMHC will screen applications against program eligibility, readiness to proceed and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) requirements.
For more information or to make an application, municipalities can visit CMHC's website at www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.gc.ca.
SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
For further information: For further information: Media inquiries: Michelle Bakos, Office of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, (819) 994-2482; Stephen Derksen, Consultant, Communications & Marketing, CMHC, Ontario Business Centre, (416) 218-3443; Charles Sauriol, CMHC, National Office, Media Relations, (613) 748-2799