Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Prince Rupert shut out from Monday's funding flurry

The Province of British Columbia
and Federal Government travelled
the Northwest on Monday with
funds for infrastructure projects
British Columbia Transportation Minister Todd Stone and Prince George area MP Bob Zimmerman made the rounds of the Northwest on Monday, making announcement after announcement of provincial and federal funding for a number of transportation and infrastructure projects in the region.

Yet, the GPS coordinates taking funding from community to community seemed to stop just a little bit outside of the Terrace city limits, as the Prince Rupert wasn't to be found on list of five infrastructure programs announced on Monday.

As we outlined on the blog yesterday, the Terrace area benefited from two major announcements, with over eight million dollars in funding directed towards an expansion of the Terrace airport, while the announcement of funding for an overpass on Highway 16 near Exstew.

The Highway improvement will be of particular help when it comes to residents of the North Coast making the trek into Terrace for those frequent shopping trips, or to make air connections through the soon to be expanded Terrace airport.

The two officials weren't finished however with just those announcements, later in the day a roads project for Kitimat was announced, which will see 200 thousand dollars in road improvements made to the turn off to the Kitamaat Village.

As well, both Kitimat and Stewart will receive infrastructure funding to be put towards projects in those communities.

The Federal and Provincial governments will provide $1.2 million dollars each towards Sewage Treatment Plant retrofit project in Kitimat.

“Mayor and Council of the District of Kitimat are very grateful for the support of both the Federal and Provincial governments in approving our application to upgrade our Sewage Treatment Plant under the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund. Upon completion the plant will provide for an estimated future stable population of approximately 12,000 people -- Kitimat Mayor Phil Vermouth

While the landfill in Stewart will receive 863,306 dollars from the Federal government and a matching amount from the Province to be used  for an Environmental Management System and Waste Transfer station.

“This is great news. I would like to thank Council and Administration for having the foresight to apply for the grant to fund this important project. On behalf of Council and the community of Stewart, I would like thank the federal government and the Province of British Columbia for making such a crucial investment in our infrastructure.”-- Deputy Mayor Patricia Lynn of Stewart

Considering many of Prince Rupert's current infrastructure concerns, its surprising that the frenzy of funding announcement didn't include something (or anything) for the North Coast.

Particularly since Mayor Lee Brain mentioned infrastructure as part of his comments during his time in Victoria last week.

Speaking on the steps of the Legislature last Tuesday afternoon, the Mayor gave a fair bit of his time to a new initiative called Rebuild Rupert, something that the City hasn't fully explained to its residents as of yet.

Hopefully at some point in the near future, Prince Rupert will be the backdrop for some of these travelling funding presentations, with word on some of our infrastructure issues finding some forward momentum.

 For the moment, considering Monday's string of announcements, it would seem that civic officials in Terrace, Kitimat and Stewart have had a bit more success in getting their message across and accessing the funding to move forward with their projects.

See our Council Archive page, for a look at some of the Prince Rupert discussion points from past council meetings, included in those discussions are a number of concerns on infrastructure.

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