Dawson Creek Benefits from Community Sustainability Planning Through Federal Gas Tax Funds

    DAWSON CREEK, BC, Nov. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The city of Dawson Creek will
undertake an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) with $95,000 from
the federal Gas Tax Fund. Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River,
Jay Hill, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, made the announcement, together with Union of
BC Municipalities (UBCM) President Susan Gimse, and Mayor of Dawson Creek
Calvin Kruk, in Dawson Creek today.
    The funding will support the city's planning activities for community
sustainability. The city's ICSP will create a framework through which
community development plans will be assessed, taking into account the
economic, environmental, social, cultural, and governance implications.
    "The Government of Canada is moving forward on building a stronger,
safer, better Canada," said MP Hill. "Through our partnership with the
Province of British Columbia and the UBCM, we are delivering on our commitment
to the environment."
    The objective of funding for capacity building and ICS planning is to
improve the environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability of
British Columbia's communities. Applications for capacity building and ICS
funding are evaluated on the basis of four key sustainability elements:

    - Long-term thinking (to consider how factors vital to a community's
      well-being may change in coming decades)
    - Broad in Scope (to examine sustainability issues in a range of social,
      economic, environmental and cultural areas)
    - Integration with existing local government plans, and
    - Collaboration (by engaging a wide range of community members, other
      local governments, First Nations, as well as partners in the for profit
      and not for profit sectors).

    These four elements provide a "sustainability lens" for local governments
to review all of its plans and planning activities. Last month, $1.9 million
was transferred to nine British Columbia projects to support local
governments' planning efforts.
    "It is only by working together that we will achieve sustainability,"
said Mayor Kruk. "The City is very appreciative of the on-going support from
the Government of Canada, the Province of BC and the Union of BC
    "Dawson Creek is a true leader as a community deeply committed to
sustainability," said MLA for Peace River-South, Blair Lekstrom. "This grant
will help the City of Dawson Creek to take event greater steps to becoming an
even greener, healthier community. I'm pleased that government partnerships
have helped the community work on its planning goals."
    "All local governments are adapting to changes in our climate, our
economy and local demographics," said President Gimse. "Funding to build local
government capacity and undertake ICS planning will produce long-term benefits
for BC communities."
    Yesterday, the Government of Canada and British Columbia signed a
Framework Agreement, under Building Canada, the government's new long-term
infrastructure plan. Under the Agreement, over $1 billion has been set aside
for projects in British Columbia through the Building Canada Fund component of
the plan. The Framework Agreement also confirms that the Province of British
Columbia will receive $25 million base funding annually, for a total of
$175 million through to 2014. Just under $1.5 billion will flow to British
Columbia municipalities through the Gas Tax Fund between 2007 and 2014.
Overall, the total federal commitment to British Columbia is $2.7 billion over
seven years under Building Canada.
    Gas Tax funding is available to local governments for projects that
contribute to environmental sustainability, and in particular, infrastructure
projects that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water or the reduction of
greenhouse gas emissions. The Gas Tax Fund is administered in BC by UBCM.

    For more information on the Canada - BC - UBCM Gas Tax Agreement, visit
www.civicnet.bc.ca or www.infc.gc.ca

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Karine White, Press Secretary,
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure And Communities, (613)
991-0700; Paul Taylor, Relationships and Communications Advisor, Union of BC
Municipalities, (250) 356 2938; Emanuel Machado, Deputy Director of
Development Services, City of Dawson Creek, (250) 784-3661

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