The Government of Canada, the City of London and Regional Municipalities HELPing Communities Increase Access to Drinking Water



    LONDON, ON, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada has
identified the expansion of a drinking water distribution system, which will
serve the needs of more than 500,000 people in up to 20 Southwestern Ontario
municipalities as a priority for funding under Building Canada, the new
long-term infrastructure plan of Canada's New Government.
    The announcement was made today by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, together with the
Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment; Gary Goodyear, Member of
Parliament for Cambridge; Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for
Elgin-Middlesex-London; Bev Shipley, Member of Parliament for
Lambton-Kent-Middlesex; Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, Mayor of the City of London;
Jim Fergusson, Chair of the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System; and Roger
Caranci, Chair of the Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System.
    The clean water initiatives identified are part of HELP Clean Water
(Huron Elgin London Project), a 20-year regional infrastructure project
developed by the Joint Boards of Management for the Lake Huron and Elgin Area
Water System and the City of London, and will increase residents' access to
treated drinking water in the region. Canada's New Government will fund up to
one-third of total eligible costs, to a maximum federal contribution of
$50 million.
    The plans include implementing the regional project in phases over the
next 20 years. The new and improved clean water facilities and distribution
systems will operate in an environmentally friendly way, relying in part on
green powered energy.
    "Providing Canadians with clean drinking water is a key priority for our
Government," said Minister Cannon. "That is why the HELP Clean Water
initiative is important. It is also a prime example of the types of
infrastructure projects that we will be supporting as part of our new
long-term Building Canada infrastructure plan."
    "Clean water is essential to the health and well-being of Canadian
families, and the expansion of the water distribution system covered under
HELP Clean Water will provide clean drinking water to countless families in
the London area," said Minister Baird. "The Government of Canada is also
concerned about the health of our waterways. That's why we recently announced
national regulation to reduce pollutants in municipal sewage that goes into
our waterways."
    "The goal of HELP Clean Water is to maintain the quality of life and
economic growth of our region," said London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best.
"This innovative, forward looking project will ensure the continued provision
of safe, sufficient, and reliable drinking water to our homes and businesses
for generations to come."
    "HELP Clean Water will enable good land use planning and sustainable
economic development in our region for years to come," said Roger Caranci,
Chair of the Elgin Area Joint Board of Management. "This mega project will
increase supply, improve production and delivery of clean water for daily use
and reserve sufficient supply for emergency use."
    "I can think of no more important, more critical, more satisfying
undertaking than a project that will allow us to tell our children and our
grandchildren that our water is clean and plentiful," said Jim Fergusson,
Chair of the Lake Huron Joint Board of Management.
    Financial support for the project is conditional on the successful
negotiation with the Province of Ontario of a framework agreement under
Building Canada. It is also conditional on a federal due diligence review of
the project, the successful completion of an environmental assessment and the
signing of a contribution agreement.
    Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure
plan, the Government will provide long-term, stable and predictable funding to
help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will support a
stronger, safer and better country. Over the last several months, the
Government of Canada has met with provinces, territories and the municipal
sector to discuss Building Canada with a view to signing agreements and begin
funding projects under the plan.




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700;
Infrastructure Canada, Communications and Promotion, (613) 948-1148; Mayor
Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, Mayor of London, (519) 661-2500 Ext. 4920; Jim
Fergusson, Chair, Lake Huron Joint Board of Management, (519) 565-5883; Roger
Caranci, Chair, Elgin Area Joint Board of Management, (519) 636-3407


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