The Government of Canada invests in public transit for healthier, more liveable communities in Yukon



    WHITEHORSE, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada today
announced $500,000 in funding for capital investments to improve public
transit in Yukon. The announcement was made by the Honourable Chuck Strahl,
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor
for Métis and Non-Status Indians, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
    "Cleaner air is a priority for this government," said Minister Strahl.
"Our government is taking action to address the unique challenges and
opportunities people face in the north. We are committed to working with the
Yukon Territory and its communities to ensure that local needs are addressed."
    "We're pleased to be able to help Yukon municipalities in the area of
public transit," said Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie. "We believe that public
transit is an important part of an infrastructure strategy and is just as
important North of 60 as it is in southern communities. These types of
initiatives also fit in with our continuing environmental strategy of helping
Yukoners adapt to the impacts of climate change."
    The Yukon Territory will work with its communities to invest its $500,000
to increase ridership, reduce emissions and adapt to the changing needs of
transit users.
    "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 Yukon Territory, once legislation has been passed.
    Yukon 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;
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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