For Immediate Release
SARM Welcomes Infrastructure Investment in Rural Communities
The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is encouraged by the $2 billion investment in rural, remote and northern infrastructure announced yesterday by Finance Minister Bill Morneau as part of the $186 billion worth of programs over the next 11 years.
“We are pleased to see that the Federal Government has targeted funding for infrastructure projects in rural communities,” said SARM President Ray Orb.
As part of yesterday’s announcement, Minister Morneau said there are two new categories for infrastructure funding, trade and transportation. SARM is pleased with the addition of these categories as it’s been a challenge for rural municipalities (RMs) to access infrastructure funding under the New Building Canada Fund (NBCF).
“We’re hopeful these new categories will help critical infrastructure funding to better flow to RMs,” said President Orb.
The current eligibility requirements of the NBCF have made it difficult for RMs to access funding so SARM is hopeful that the new program will address these concerns. Some of which include the definition of rural used by the Federal Government, the ability to stack federal funds with provincial programs, 50% federal investment on projects, and the types of projects included under the new categories i.e. short lines, municipal roads and bridges.
“SARM plans to work further with our provincial and federal partners to ensure that this infrastructure funding benefits RMs in Saskatchewan and energy infrastructure, like pipelines, is better utilized to reduce pressures of moving oil and gas on municipal infrastructure,” said President Orb.
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