The Government of Canada invests in public transit for healthier, more liveable communities in Newfoundland and Labrador



    ST. JOHN'S, March 28 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada today
announced $7.6 million in funding for capital investments to improve public
transit in Newfoundland and Labrador. The announcement was made by Fabian
Manning, MP for Avalon, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
    "I am pleased that our government's commitment to the environment and
public transit will benefit both St. John's and Corner Brook," said
Mr. Manning. "Anything we can do to support communities' efforts to make
public transit more attractive is a worthwhile investment."
    "This investment provides the Cities of St. John's and Corner Brook an
opportunity to upgrade public transit systems, which will provide more
reliable and efficient modes of transportation for residents and visitors,"
said the Honourable Dave Denine, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Government of
Newfoundland and Labrador. "The improvements to these transit systems also
support efforts to increase public transit use and support the reduction of
gas emissions and the protection of our environment."
    The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has been allocated $7.6 million
of the $500 million Public Transit Capital Trust 2008. Under the eligibility
requirements, the Cities of St. John's and Corner Brook are eligible to
receive proportionate funding, with the City of St. John's investing
$6.9 million to complete the new Metrobus Station and replace five older
buses, and the City of Corner Brook investing their allocation of $700,000 to
continue the development of bicycle lanes.
    "The Government of Canada is taking decisive action to support public
transit in the country. Funding for transit has greatly increased in recent
years, currently reaching over $1 billion per year. Sound investments in
public transit can improve mobility and help get people out of their cars,
which reduces traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution,"
added
    Minister Cannon. "In addition to the environmental value, these
investments benefit the economy and quality of life in cities and
communities."
    Budget 2008 announced that $500 million would be provided to continue to
support public transit infrastructure projects. Funding will be paid into a
third-party trust, allocated on a provincial-territorial per capita basis and
used towards priority projects. The Public Transit Capital Trust 2008 will be
used for specific projects, such as rapid transit, rail, transit buses, and
high-occupancy vehicle and bicycle lanes. The funds will be delivered in trust
to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador once legislation has been passed.
    Newfoundland and Labrador will have the flexibility to draw from the
funding as needed over the next two years. The beneficiaries are also
encouraged to report publicly on the expenditures financed through the trust
and on outcomes achieved.
    This trust is in addition to the long-term funding available for public
transit projects under the government's $33-billion Building Canada
Infrastructure Plan, including the Gas Tax Fund, which was made permanent in
Budget 2008.




For further information:

For further information: Catherine Loubier, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa,
(613) 991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055;
Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Department of Municipal Affairs
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, (709) 729-1983, (709) 690-2498;
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and
speeches at apps.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up to date on the latest from
Transport Canada; This news release may be made available in alternative
formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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