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

    HALIFAX, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada today announced
$14 million in funding for capital investments to improve public transit in
Nova Scotia. The announcement was made by the Honourable Peter MacKay,
Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities
Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities.
    "Funding for public transit will enhance Nova Scotia's economy and
improve our environment," said Minister MacKay. "This commitment by the
federal government to Nova Scotia will ensure that public transit remains
convenient and affordable. It is another step forward in lowering greenhouse
gas emissions."
    "Nova Scotia welcomes Canada's contribution to municipal infrastructure
in this province," said Jamie Muir, provincial Minister of Service Nova Scotia
and Municipal Relations. "The ongoing partnership between all levels of
government is critical to the growth and prosperity of our province."
    The $14 million allotted to Nova Scotia will be distributed among transit
authorities in the province, primarily on the basis of ridership, including
funding for small, community-based transit systems. Approximately $13 million
will go to Halifax, and the Halifax Regional Council has endorsed a decision
to use this funding for the Harbourlink water transit service project, which
will complement the existing Bus Rapid Transit service.
    "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
    "We welcome this investment in our transportation infrastructure, and
specifically in the Harbourlink water transit service, or fast ferry," said
Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly. "Harbourlink has been discussed by Halifax Regional
Council for several years as a potential opportunity to reduce our greenhouse
gas emissions and get people out of their cars and into an alternative,
environmentally friendly mode of transportation."
    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 Province of Nova Scotia once legislation has been passed.
    Nova Scotia 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
    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 Subscribe to news releases and
speeches at 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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