Small Communities Get Help With Water Costs



    McGuinty Government Opens Second Phase Of Ontario Small Waterworks
    Assistance Program To Help Keep Drinking Water Safe and Affordable

    TORONTO, Aug. 21 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Small, northern and rural municipalities, as well as local services
boards, can now apply for assistance to help offset the costs of operating
public drinking water systems.
    The second phase of the Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program
(http://www.pir.gov.on.ca/english/infrastructure/oswap.htm) is now accepting
applications. This funding program is part of the government's plan to keep
Ontario's water and wastewater infrastructure in good repair to ensure safe,
clean and affordable water services for Ontario families.
    The program helps small communities - which face unique challenges in
keeping water rates affordable and managing increasing operating costs and
capital investment needs - maintain their systems and deliver safe clean water
to their residents
    This second phase makes funding of $12 million available to
municipalities and local services boards with public drinking water systems
serving 1,001 to 5,000 residents.

    QUOTES

    "Our government has made safe, clean and affordable drinking water for
all Ontarians a priority," said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister
of Energy and Infrastructure. "This funding supports strong public
infrastructure, which is critical to the province's economic competitiveness,
our health, and the environment - not only for this generation, but for
generations to come."
    "Having access to clean, safe drinking water is just as important in
smaller communities as it is in urban centres," said Leona Dombrowsky,
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "This program shows, once
again, our commitment to rural Ontario."
    "Here in Ontario, we have created an effective safety net for our
drinking water systems, making our tap water among the best protected in the
world," said John Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment. "Helping small
communities upgrade their water systems is another example of that safety net
in action."

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -   The first phase of the $40 million funding program for small water
        systems provides $8 million over five years to municipalities and
        LSBs serving fewer than 1,000 residents
    -   OSWAP-2 (http://www.pir.gov.on.ca/english/infrastructure/oswap.htm)
        builds on other programs designed to help communities protect
        local infrastructure:
        -  $450 million under the Municipal Infrastructure Investment
           Initiative
           (http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/news/Product.asp?ProductID=1975)
           in 2007-08 to support municipal infrastructure priorities,
           including water systems
        -  joint investments of almost $380 million with the federal
           government through the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural
           Infrastructure Fund
           (http://www.comrif.ca/epic/site/comrif-fimrco.nsf/Intro) to help
           60 rural municipalities with water and wastewater projects
        -  $56 million to 53 municipalities through the Rural Infrastructure
           Investment Initiative in response to water and wastewater project
           applications
        -  a commitment to provide up to $1.1 billion in affordable, longer-
           term financing for water and wastewater projects through
           Infrastructure Ontario's OSIFA
           (http://www.infrastructureontario.ca/en/loan/index.asp) loan
           program.

    LEARN MORE

    Visit http://www.ontario.ca/oswap for more OSWAP information.
    For Interesting "Quick Facts" on water visit
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/water/en/e_quickfacts.htm

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                                                              ontario.ca/mei
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, (416) 327-6747;
Anne Dunderdale, Media Relations Officer, (416) 325-1810

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