Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - Launch of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program in Southern Ontario

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Speaking Points

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Waterloo, Ontario

May 15, 2015

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Bonjour. Good afternoon.

We were hoping to have today's event at the Waterloo Park. Unfortunately, Peter couldn`t do anything about the weather forecast. Thankfully, Councillor Vieth, who is here today on behalf of Mayor Dave Jaworsky, was willing to open the doors to this atrium for us.

Our Government is proud to have invested more than $775,000 for the park improvements through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund. We introduced this fund in 2012 to help renovate our existing public infrastructure and to stimulate economic activity in communities.

We recognize that infrastructure provides important gathering places for Canadians and contributes to a high quality of life in our communities.

Since 2006, our Government has been taking action to build prosperous communities and stimulate economic development not only here in southern Ontario, but across the country.

In 2017, we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation. This anniversary will be a great moment in the history of our nation.

The theme of this anniversary is "Canada: Strong. Proud. Free." Not only do these words characterize Canada today, they also characterize us:  its citizens.

Our Government's vision, under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, for this very special anniversary is:

  • to contribute to and leave a lasting legacy in Canada, including legacies that will continue beyond 2017;
  • to honour outstanding contributions; and
  • to celebrate and to bring Canadians together.

This vision will be realized through strategic investments in activities that focus on these three areas.

One key investment is the Canada 150 Fund, which was announced on April 23rd, by Heritage and Official Languages Minister Shelly Glover. The Fund provides a total of $210 million over four years, starting this year, for activities, events and celebrations across Canada.

The Canada 150 Fund will help us as Canadians to connect with our history; celebrate our diversity; honour our Aboriginal, French and English heritage; reflect on Canada's achievements and build lasting legacies for the future.

Another key investment our Government is making related to Canada's 150th anniversary is the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. This was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier today.

Through this new program, $150 million will be invested across Canada to rehabilitate, renovate and expand existing public infrastructure for community use.

Over the past 150 years, community infrastructure across Canada has served to bring us closer as a people. Whether we're enjoying a gathering at the community centre or a friendly competition at a recreation facility, Canadians have long understood the value of these important community spaces.

Ladies and gentlemen, to help improve our community infrastructure, I'm pleased to announce that my Agency is delivering this program in the region. We have earmarked $44.4 million for projects in southern Ontario.

As of today, our intake for accepting applications is officially open.

Local and Aboriginal governments, public sector bodies delivering municipal-type infrastructure services and incorporated not-for-profit organizations are invited to visit the FedDev Ontario website to review the program guidelines and apply for funding.

Some examples of eligible projects include improving accessibility to a community centre, repairing a museum's roof, expanding a gymnasium or extending a trail or bike path.

The program will support projects on a cost-shared basis.

We will be looking for projects that provide long-term benefits to a community and that can be fully completed by March 31, 2018.

Canada's 150th anniversary is a key milestone in the life of this country.

It is an opportunity to establish a link to our past, celebrate our achievements and build a lasting legacy for the future.

The projects supported through this program will help celebrate our shared heritage, while creating jobs and improving the quality of life for Canadians from coast, to coast, to coast.

As we approach 2017, our Government looks forward to working with Canadians to deliver programming that generates social and economic benefits to ensure we can remain "Strong, Proud and Free."

Thank you.

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