Edmonton – Last week’s signing of the federal/provincial infrastructure agreement for water and wastewater projects and public transit will enable municipalities to address aging infrastructure and respond to growth pressures.
“Urban municipalities have been eagerly awaiting this funding agreement so that the promised dollars from the spring federal budget can begin to be put to use,” said Mayor Lisa Holmes, President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. “Today’s announcement opens the door for the creation of new construction jobs and needed infrastructure in our communities.”
“AUMA has been steadfast in its message that the share of funding that each order of government pays for infrastructure needs to align with their respective share of tax dollars,” said Holmes. “AUMA is pleased that our call for a contribution formula of a 50 per cent federal, 40 per cent provincial, and 10 per cent municipal share was heard by the federal and provincial governments for the water and waste water component”.
The water-related funding will be put to immediate use in over 17 communities across the province, with further projects to be confirmed in the coming months. But given that roughly 12 per cent of municipal water and wastewater systems are more than 40 years old, and 40 per cent are more than two decades old, there is much more investment needed.
Edmonton and Calgary are already working to put the transit investments into place and we look forward to further announcements in the upcoming weeks on approved projects for other municipalities. In addition to being a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation, transit is key to reducing traffic congestion while providing safe transportation alternatives for Alberta’s growing population.
“This agreement will help address the infrastructure deficit but there is much more to do. Catching up will take a committed partnership among the federal, provincial and municipal orders of government,” said Holmes. “Today’s investment is an important step – but it’s just a first step to making the progress that Albertans expect.”
Founded in 1905, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association represents all of Alberta’s urban municipalities, including cities, towns, villages, summer villages and specialized municipalities, representing over 85% of Albertans. A dynamic and evolving association, AUMA advocates on behalf of members to provincial and federal government, as well as other stakeholder organizations.