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Ron Cannan

Stable, predictable infrastructure funding

As part of the New Building Canada Plan, the renewed federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) is an important avenue of funding to help municipalities build and revitalize their local public infrastructure, contributing to job creation and economic growth.

On July 17th, MLA Norm Letnick, Lake Country Mayor James Baker, Mark Koch, Director of Community Services District of Lake Country, Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) President Rhona Martin, and I announced that the District of Lake Country has received $250,000 in Gas Tax funds to support the District’s adoption of an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP).

Since 2006, the District of Lake Country has received $7,387,891 under the federal Gas Tax Fund.

In consultation with local residents, the newly adopted ICSP sets a direction for Lake Country to become a healthy, sustainable community that attracts and retains residents, businesses and visitors and will influence future infrastructure investment, zoning, economic development and environmental protection within the District.

The federal GTF program was originally designed to provide municipalities with $5 billion in predictable funding over five years.

Since then significant improvements have been made to the GTF: it has been extended; doubled from $1 billion to $2 billion annually; and legislated as a permanent source of federal infrastructure funding for municipalities.

Additionally, as of April 1, 2014, communities will be able to use the renewed GTF towards a wider range of projects, which means they will have even more flexibility in the types of projects they fund.

To date, $13 billion has been invested in Canadian municipalities through the federal Gas Tax Fund, with close to $22 billion to flow over the next 10 years.

Federal infrastructure funding has had a significant impact on our riding.  Local investments made through the $33 billion Building Canada fund, established in 2007, provided millions of dollars in infrastructure funding in Kelowna-Lake Country for transit, recreational and heritage facilities, multi-use pathways, water and sewer, bridges and roads.

Now, more resources are available to our municipalities, regional and provincial governments to address infrastructure priorities.

In total, $70 billion in new public infrastructure investments will be made over the next decade, providing the stable, predictable and flexible funding requested by Canada’s municipalities.  This will include the $53-billion New Building Canada Plan, $6 billion flowing through existing programs, and $17 billion to build, operate and maintain federal public infrastructure.

Under the New Building Canada Plan there will be three main components:

  • a  Community Improvement Fund - $32.2 billion consisting of an indexed Gas Tax Fund and the increased GST Rebate for Municipalities to build roads, public transit, recreational facilities and other community infrastructure across Canada that will improve the quality of life of Canadian families;
  • a New Building Canada Fund - $14 billion in support of major economic infrastructure projects that have a national and regional significance including the $4-billion National Infrastructure Component (NIC) that will support projects of national significance; the $10-billion Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component (PTIC) for projects of national, regional and local significance; and $1 billion dedicated to projects in communities with a population of fewer than 100,000 residents; and
  • a renewed P3 Canada Fund - $1.25 billion to continue finding innovative ways to build infrastructure projects faster and provide better value for Canadian taxpayers through public-private partnerships.

 

It makes it much easier for our Kelowna-Lake Country municipalities to determine their capital planning budgets knowing that reliable and predictable infrastructure funding is in place.

To date, the effective working partnership between our local, provincial and federal governments has successfully identified key infrastructure priorities in Kelowna-Lake Country resulting in sound infrastructure investments.  I will continue to work closely with our Mayors, their councils, and our MLAs as they identify their infrastructure priorities under the new plan.

The federal government’s commitment to the largest and longest federal infrastructure plan in our nation's history will enhance economic growth, job creation and productivity and continue to help us support our growing local economy.

For more information on Canada’s infrastructure funding please go to www.infrastructure.gc.ca.

 

Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and welcomes your feedback at [email protected].  Information on local announcements and federal government programs can be found at www.cannan.ca.



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About the author...

The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and regional government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, mental health, women’s resources, and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee, and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine. His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012.

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.
 

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee.  He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons.  His hobbies include music and sports.




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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