News Release: Boost for Kelowna Rails With Trails

KELOWNA – Funding was announced today for Phase Two of the Rails with Trails pathway, a project that will complete a vital link in Kelowna's existing network of active transportation corridors.

The Government of Canada is providing $1.46 million through the Gas Tax Fund transfer, and the Government of British Columbia is providing $1.52 million through BikeBC toward this nearly $3 million cycling infrastructure project.

“Our government is pleased to support the Rails with Trails project to promote growth and healthy living in Kelowna,” said the Honourable Ron Cannan, MP for Kelowna – Lake Country. “Residents and tourists will have new opportunities to enjoy a safe, scenic and accessible pathway for years to come.”

The City will design and build the 4.5 metre wide pathway, extending the existing pathway 1.5 kilometres east from Spall Road to Dilworth Drive. This builds on the success of the first phase of Rails with Trails, which runs adjacent to the CN Rail lines from Gordon Drive to Spall Road.

“Providing urban biking lanes is a priority for the Central Okanagan that MLAs Steve Thomson, Ben Stewart, and I share,” said Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country. “Phase Two of the Rails with Trails bike path represents a collaborative investment of nearly $3 million in funding. This shows what we can accomplish when all levels of government work together to meet the needs of the constituents we serve.”

The trail links employment hubs – such as downtown or the Landmark buildings – to where people live. It connects neighbourhoods, town centres and all the recreational amenities in the city. Future phases will see this pathway extend from the downtown cultural district to the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Kelowna International Airport and beyond as a non-motorized active transportation route.

“This funding announcement provides the means to expand this very popular walking and biking route,” said Walter Gray, Mayor of Kelowna. “Once this phase of the project is complete, there will be a continuous 19.5 kilometre ring of off-road pathways in and around our city centre. Urban trails like these provide safe alternative transportation routes for people of all ages and abilities.”

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.

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.

Cycling is a key component of the B.C. government's strategy for encouraging healthy living and addressing climate change, in conjunction with the Climate Action Plan and the Provincial Transit Plan. Twenty communities across British Columbia will share more than $7.36 million in BikeBC funding. This funding will go towards 21 projects to expand and build cycling lanes, trails, and paths, increasing physical activity and helping reduce greenhouse gases. This year's projects range from a new cycling track, new bike lanes, and intersection improvements.

BikeBC is a cost-sharing program between the government of B.C. and local governments. This year's investment will help create more than $14.5 million in cycling infrastructure.

For more information about Rails with Trails visit kelowna.ca/cityprojects.

For more information about BikeBC, visit: www.th.gov.bc.ca/BikeBC.

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, contact:

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

Andrew Albiston
City of Kelowna
Regional Projects Manager
250-469-8569

Jodie Foster Sexsmith
City of Kelowna
Communications Supervisor
250-469-8663

Mark Knudsen
Senior Communications Officer
Government Caucus of British Columbia
250-356-1539

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

Communications
1435 Water Street
Kelowna, B.C., V1Y 1J4
tel 250 469-8663
kelowna.ca

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