McGuinty Government Investing In Ontario's Public Drinking Water Systems

    76 Communities To Benefit From Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance

    TORONTO, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government announced today it is
investing in 76 communities that have met eligibility requirements for the
$8 million Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program (OSWAP) as part of the
government's ongoing commitment to support small communities.
    "Since 2003, this government has made ongoing investments in water and
wastewater systems," said David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure
Renewal. "This program is one of many initiatives to assist small communities,
particularly those in northern and rural Ontario, who face unique challenges
with the financial sustainability and affordability of their drinking water
    OSWAP will provide a total of $8 million in grants over the next five
years to help manage drinking water system operating costs for municipalities
and local services boards (LSBs) with public drinking water systems serving
1,000 or fewer residents.
    "Investing in the management and administration of Ontario's drinking
water resources is an important initiative for our government," said Leona
Dombrowsky, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Today's
announcement shows the government's commitment to ensuring small communities
have the necessary resources to manage their drinking water systems."
    OSWAP is the first part of a new $40 million five-year funding program
announced by the province on August 16, 2007. The province is developing
criteria for the second portion of the $40 million program, which will provide
further assistance to municipalities and LSBs serving small populations.
    Expressions of interest for OSWAP were accepted between August 31, 2007
and October 31, 2007. Funds are expected to be issued in early 2008 following
the completion of contribution agreements with eligible communities.

    In addition to OSWAP, the McGuinty government has invested in several
initiatives to help protect Ontario's public drinking water systems. They

    -  a joint investment with the federal government of almost $380 million
       through the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund
       (COMRIF) to help 60 small and rural municipalities with water and
       wastewater projects;
    -  provision of $56 million to 53 municipalities, through the Rural
       Infrastructure Investment Initiative (RIII), which can be used for
       water and wastewater;
    -  a commitment to provide up to $1.2 billion in affordable, longer-term
       financing for water and wastewater projects since 2003 through
       Infrastructure Ontario's OSIFA loan program; and
    -  in 2007-08, will provide an additional $300 million under the
       Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII) to support
       municipal infrastructure priorities. Water system infrastructure will
       be eligible.

    Criteria are currently being developed for the second portion of the
$40 million program, which will provide further assistance to municipalities
and LSBs serving small populations.
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             Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program (OSWAP)

                             Eligible Communities

    Township of Adelaide Metcalfe         Municipality of Markstay-Warren
    Township of Amaranth                  Township of Matachewan
    Township of Armstrong                 Township of Mattice - Val Côté
    Local Services Board of Armstrong     Municipality of McDougall
    Township of Ashfield-Colborne-        Township of McGarry
    Township of Assiginack                Village of Merrickville-Wolford
    Township of Billings                  Township of Montague
    Township of Brooke-Alvinston          Township of Moonbeam
    Town of Bruce Mines                   Local Services Board of Moose
    Village of Burk's Falls               Municipality of Morris-Turnberry/
    Township of Central Manitoulin        Belgrave Water Services Committee
    Township of Chapple                   Township of Mulmur
    Municipality of Charlton and Dack     Township of Nairn and Hyman
    Township of Chatsworth                Village of Newbury
    Township of Coleman                   Township of The North Shore
    Township of Dawn-Euphemia             Municipality of Northern Bruce
    Township of Dubreuilville             Village of Oil Springs
    Township of Ear Falls                 Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge
    Township of East Garafraxa            Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan
    Township of Elizabethtown Kitley      Local Services Board of Peace Tree
    Township of Emo                       Township of Pelee
    Township of Fauquier-Strickland       Township of Perth South
    Local Services Board of Foleyet       Township of Pickle Lake
    Township of Galway-Cavendish and      Municipality of Powassan
    Local Services Board of Gogama        Town of Rainy River
    Town of Gore Bay                      Township of Red Rock
    Municipality of Highlands East        Township of Sables-Spanish Rivers
    Village of Hilton Beach               Township of Schreiber
    Township of James                     Township of South Frontenac
    Township of Johnson                   Village of South River
    Township of Killaloe, Hagatry and     Town of Spanish
    Municipality of Killarney             Township of St. Joseph
    Township of Larder Lake               Township of Tehkummah
    Town of Latchford                     Municipality of Temagami
    Township of Leeds and the Thousand    Local Services Board of Thorne
    Local Services Board of Rossport      Township of Opasatika
    Township of Macdonald, Meredith &     Municipality of Val Rita-Harty
    Municipality of Machin                Village of Westport
                                          Township of White River

For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, Public
Infrastructure Renewal, (416) 325-4048; Kelly Synnott, Minister's Office,
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, (416) 326-6439

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Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal

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