The renewed federal Gas Tax Fund agreement, signed by New Brunswick on Tuesday, will provide predictable and stable funding for public infrastructure throughout the province, says Premier David Alward.
“Today's event is excellent news for our communities, and I am confident that they will have more flexibility than ever before in choosing the best projects for their needs,” Alward said during the news conference in Riverview.
“This is another important step in moving New Brunswick forward and making it a place where people want to live, work and invest," he said.
The renewed agreement will govern the flow of federal funds to each province and territory over the next 10 years.
Alward says municipalities will be able to plan ahead and prioritize what projects they want to proceed with.
"In the coming weeks, officials from the Department of Environment and Local Government will be on the ground working with the local communities on their priorities and again, this is a 10-year program and the municipalities will know what their allocation is based on their per capita, as an example."
Federal minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Rob Moore says New Brunswick will benefit from an estimated $472 million in federal funding as a result of the agreement.
“Through our unprecedented financial support for public infrastructure, we are ensuring communities across the country enjoy a high standard of living, new economic opportunities, and a safe, healthy environment," said Moore, who is also the MP for Fundy Royal.
Eligible investment categories under the fund include: drinking water; wastewater and solid waste; public transit; local roads and bridges; community energy systems; capacity building; disaster mitigation; broadband and connectivity; highways; short-line rail; short-sea shipping; brownfield redevelopment; regional and local airports; and projects supporting culture, tourism, sport and recreation.
Some of the projects that benefitted from gas tax funding during the last construction season included:
- Storm sewer separation in the Town of Dalhousie.
- Reconstruction of a sidewalk in the Village of Tide Head.
- An integrated system for a recreational centre in the Village of Richibucto.
- A sewer forcemain project in the Town of Sussex.
The original gas tax fund was a five-year program.