Canada's New Government invests up to $26.6 million to complete Saint John harbour clean up

    SAINT JOHN, NB, March 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Greg Thompson,
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for New Brunswick
Southwest, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, together with the Honourable Shawn Graham,
Premier of New Brunswick, and the Mayor of Saint John, Norm McFarlane, today
announced that their governments have each committed up to $26.6 million to
complete the Saint John Harbour Clean Up.
    "The clean up of the harbour is a priority project for the city of Saint
John and the people of New Brunswick, and the Prime Minister made it clear
last year that it is also a priority for Canada's New Government," said
Minister Thompson. "The health of Canadians and the environment will directly
benefit from the harbour clean up."
    "We are very pleased that the federal government has joined us and the
City of Saint John in providing funding for this crucial environmental
project," said Premier Graham. "Saint John Harbour Clean Up has been and
continues to be one of our government's top priorities and we look forward to
the project getting under way in a timely manner."
    "Harbour Clean Up is and has been the top priority for Common Council and
the citizens of Saint John. I am very thankful for the support that the
Government of Canada has announced today and for the previous support
announced by Prime Minister Harper last year," said Mayor McFarlane. "I look
forward to working with both the federal and provincial governments to sign
the tri-party agreement as soon as possible so the clean up of our harbour can
begin this spring."
    The federal investment is in addition to its earlier $2.83 million
contribution announced by Prime Minister Harper in March 2006 under the
Canada-New Brunswick Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. That investment is
supporting an $8.5 million project for the initial phase to clean up Saint
John Harbour that is cost shared among the Province and the City.
    The City of Saint John has one of the oldest municipal water and sewage
systems in North America, and currently releases untreated sewage into the
harbour. Once completed, the proposed clean up project will result in the
elimination of all raw sewage outfalls in Saint John. The clean up will result
in long-term environmental benefits for Saint John, improve water quality
within the harbour and the surrounding creeks and rivers, and have a positive
impact on the region's economy.
    Financial support is conditional on meeting applicable federal and
provincial requirements, including the successful completion of environmental
assessments required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the
successful negotiation of a contribution agreement. Officials with the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will be the federal lead on this project
in support of Infrastructure Canada.
    The Government of Canada's contribution is provided through the Canada
Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), which supports large-scale
infrastructure projects that strengthen areas vital to sustaining economic
growth and enhancing quality of life for Canadians. As well, New Brunswick
communities will benefit from federal infrastructure investments of $116
million over five years through the federal Gas Tax Fund, $9.4 million in
federal public transit funds, $16.5 million for broadband connectivity across
the province, and $135 million for New Brunswick highway and international
border crossing improvements.
    Budget 2006 provided an unprecedented level of support for infrastructure
of various types across Canada, including some $16.5 billion over four years.
The Budget announced $6.6 billion in new infrastructure funding to support
both small and larger scale municipal infrastructure projects in communities
across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Richard Roik, Office of Minister Veterans
Affairs, (613) 995-6264; Marie-Andrée Bolduc, Communications, Office of the
Premier of New Brunswick, (506) 444-2286; Jay Reid, Office of the Mayor of
Saint John, (506) 649-7965; Infrastructure Canada, Communications and
Promotion, (613) 948-1148

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