News Release: $1.75 million on the way for Saanich Roadworks

Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich will begin work to upgrade Wilkinson Road and also take steps to protect the water quality of the Colquitz River thanks to a $1.75 million contribution from the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund transfer.

“This environmentally friendly initiative is an investment in the health and safety of local residents, and will create jobs in Saanich,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister Responsible for British Columbia and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “Through the Gas Tax Fund transfer, our government provides permanent infrastructure funding for every municipality in Canada to choose and prioritize projects in their own communities.”

This initiative has several elements, including widening a 75 year old bridge on Wilkinson Road to provide safer access for cyclists and pedestrians. Sidewalks along Wilkinson Road will also be extended and bike lanes will be added from Mann Road to Lindsay Road, where they will connect to the district's Centennial Trail. The project will also improve the health of the Colquitz River with the removal of invasive plants and the installation of a rain garden to treat stormwater. This greening initiative will ensure cleaner water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The District will fund the remaining portion of the total $2.5 million cost of the project.

“Saanich is grateful for the federal government's continuing support of our infrastructure needs,” said Mayor of the District of Saanich, Frank Leonard. “This greening initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will protect the water quality of the Colquitz River.”

“This road improvement project will provide a better route for residents; promote cleaner air in the community and protect water quality in the Colquitz River,” said Ida Chong, MLA, Oak Bay–Gordon Head. “Greener, healthier, infrastructure advances green priorities that protects our environment; allows for sustainable regional growth and supports the district's commitments under the Climate Action Charter.”

“Expanding transportation choices along Wilkinson is a boost to the regional road system,” said Union of BC Municipalities President Mary Sjostrom. “The Gas Tax Fund is playing an important role by helping local governments replace aging infrastructure and improve core services.”

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has made unprecedented investments in infrastructure. Through the Gas Tax Fund alone, municipalities across the country have received over $10 billion in transfers for local priority initiatives. Making this fund permanent at $2 billion annually was part of Canada's Economic Action Plan – a plan to help create good jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

The Gas Tax Fund transfer provides predictable, long-term funding for Canadian municipalities to help them build and revitalize public infrastructure. Projects are chosen locally and prioritized according to the infrastructure needs of each community.

Between 2006 and 2014, British Columbia will receive more than $1.56 billion from the Gas Tax Fund to improve local infrastructure. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca.

To find out what the Government of Canada is doing to promote jobs, growth and prosperity, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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For more information:

Genevieve Sicard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700

Colin Doyle
Director of Engineering
District of Saanich
250-475-5446

Matt Gordon
Communications Director
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250-953-3677

Paul Taylor
Relationships and Communications Advisor
UBCM
250-356-2938

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

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