New Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Comox Valley

 Comox Valley, British Columbia – The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and Village of Cumberland south sewer project is taking a major step forward with a contribution of $17 million from the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund.  The project is a joint initiative between the CVRD, the Village of Cumberland and K'ómoks First Nation, working toward the common goal of providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective sewer treatment as these communities grow.

“Infrastructure improvements that create jobs, protect the environment and promote sustainable growth are a priority for our Government,” said the Honourable John Duncan, MP for Vancouver Island North. “This new wastewater treatment project is great news for the entire Comox Valley. It's an investment for long-term economic growth and prosperity in our growing Island communities.”

To help protect the waterways surrounding Baynes Sound, stage one of the project will include building the treatment plant and collection system to address the failing septic systems in the core areas of Union Bay and Royston along with addressing wastewater treatment issues in Cumberland.

“The CVRD, along with the Village of Cumberland, our co-applicant, and in partnership with the K'ómoks First Nation, welcome this news for residents who have been living with failing septic infrastructure,” said CVRD chair Edwin Grieve. “The project will utilize a combination of innovative policy and technology to create a sustainable and efficient sewer collection and treatment solution.”

“The existing wastewater treatment facility in Cumberland is not able to meet the requirements of our growing community,” said Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird. “Our partnership in the south sewer project will help us to put an end to the resulting negative environmental impacts.”
 
The $17 million in federal funding includes $15 million in Gas Tax funding from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities' (UBCM) application-based program for capital projects and $2 million from the CVRD's annual Gas Tax Fund allocation. The CVRD will finance the remainder of the $42-million cost for this phase of the project by borrowing approximately $25 million through the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA). 

“This project, which is critical to the long-term health and sustainability of the Comox Valley Regional District, is being greatly supported by the generous funding B.C. received through the Gas Tax Fund,” said Don McRae, MLA for Comox Valley. “The high efficiency, reliability and cost-effectiveness of the new sewage treatment system will provide substantial environmental benefits and ensure services are in place to meet the present and future needs of a growing and prosperous region.”

“By transferring federal funds directly to local governments, the Gas Tax Fund is supporting the renewal of core services in BC communities,” said Union of British Columbia Municipalities President, Mary Sjostrom. “Substantive wastewater improvements such as these are a challenge to fund through property taxation alone.” “

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 UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in British Columbia, in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.

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.

-30-

For more information:

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

Kevin Lorette
General Manager Property Services
Comox Valley Regional District
250-334-6028

Sundance Topham
Chief Administrative Officer
Village of Cumberland
250-336-2291 Ext 230

Matt Gordon
Communications Director
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250-953-3677

Paul Taylor
Relationships and Communications Advisor
UBCM
250-356-2938

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