$1.84 million from Canada’s Gas Tax Fund confirmed for nine regionally significant projects in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
October 11, 2012: Whistler, BC – The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) will receive $418,000 in federal Gas Tax funding for three projects, following an announcement that the Gas Tax Management Committee (which includes the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), Infrastructure Canada, and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development) has approved an application to allocate Regionally Significant Project (RSP) Gas Tax funding to nine projects within the region.
The RMOW will receive $160,000 for the Sea to Sky Trail construction between Lost Lake in Whistler and the Wedgewoods neighbourhood just north of our boundary, $80,000 for Cheakamus River Environmental Monitoring, and $178,000 for the implementation of a Water System Cross Connection Control Plan.
Under the Gas Tax Agreement, the municipalities and electoral areas within the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) will be provided with $1.84 million for large scale or regionally significant projects, which will contribute to reductions in greenhouse gas emission, cleaner air, or cleaner water.
The SLRD and its four member municipalities—the District of Lillooet, the District of Squamish, the Village of Pemberton, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler—collaborated to submit a list of projects for this funding. Factors that were considered in selecting the projects were community need, regional relationship building opportunities, economic development potential, and strategic alignment with the Regional Growth Strategy.
“Whistler is pleased with the announcement of this funding and will continue to work with our regional partners to complete these projects,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “Federal Gas Tax funding is important for maintaining infrastructure and for ensuring the health of our residents and visitors and the protection of our natural environment. Funding of these three Whistler projects will have long-term benefits for our resort community and our region.”
The funding for the Sea to Sky Trail Program will fill a gap in the Sea to Sky Trail starting north of Lost Lake Park in the RMOW and extending northward to the Wedgewoods neighbourhood of Area C of the SLRD. The Sea to Sky Trail is an in-progress 180-kilometre, non-motorized multi-use trail, which is envisioned to connect the communities of the Sea to Sky Corridor from Squamish to D’Arcy. As the Wedgewoods area is developed, the trail connection will provide an alternative to automobile use for travellers, thereby reducing GHG emissions and contributing to cleaner air within the regional air-shed.
The Cross Connection Control Program (also known as a Backflow Prevention program) is intended to safeguard drinking water from potential contamination and subsequent health risks by isolating private water systems from the public water system through the installation of backflow prevention devices.
In alignment with our commitment to the environment, the RMOW conducts ongoing monitoring of the habitat and water quality in the Cheakamus River. The Cheakamus Environmental Monitoring program will involve more detailed surveys of fish and invertebrates, water quality analysis, and other aquatic characteristics.
Canada's Gas Tax Fund provides stable, long-term funding to local governments to help them build and revitalize public infrastructure. In December 2011, the Government of Canada passed legislation to make the Gas Tax Fund a permanent annual investment of $2 billion per year. The UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in collaboration with the governments of Canada and British Columbia.