The Government of Canada invests in public transit for healthier, more liveable communities in Prince Edward Island



    CHARLOTTETOWN, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada today
announced $2.1 million in funding for capital investments to improve public
transit in Prince Edward Island. The announcement was made by the Honourable
Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada
Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
    "Direct funding for public transit will enhance Prince Edward Island's
economy and improve the environment," said Minister MacKay. "This commitment
by the federal government to Prince Edward Island will ensure that public
transit remains convenient and affordable. It is another step forward in
lowering greenhouse gas emissions."
    "Public transit is a key feature of vibrant, liveable communities and our
government recognizes the importance of continuously improving and expanding
our transit system," said Carolyn Bertram, Prince Edward.Minister of
Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour. "Today's investments will help
sustain cleaner air quality, lower greenhouse emissions and provide a needed
service for Islanders. Coupled with our provincial Climate Change Strategy and
our challenge to become Canada's Green Province, these funds are of great
significance to Prince Edward Island."
    The Province of Prince Edward Island is planning to use the funding to
purchase new buses and bus shelters to support the continued expansion of
transit services in Charlottetown. Funding would also be used to expand
walking paths and trails throughout the province, to support active
transportation.
    "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 Prince Edward Island, once legislation has been passed.
    Prince Edward Island 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 federal 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;
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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