VICTORIA, BC, June 17, 2021 /CNW/ - The safety and well-being of people are top priorities of the governments of Canada and British Columbia. Supporting local infrastructure during this extraordinary time will help create jobs, support local economies, and make our communities more inclusive and more resilient.
Today, Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood—Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Mike Farnworth, British Columbia's Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, announced funding to upgrade ten fire halls across the province. They were also accompanied by Ron Richert, Fire Chief for the City of Quesnel.
Upgrading fire halls will improve critical services to residents through more efficient facilities and reduced response times. These upgrades also help meet seismic requirements and operational needs in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. Furthermore, investing in essential facilities will extend these buildings' service life.
Among these projects, the City of Quesnel will undergo renovations to bring the facility up to current building and accessibility codes and standards, and increase the lifespan of the building by 15 to 20 years. These upgrades will provide a change room for female firefighters, increase the size of apparatus bays, increase public safety, decrease occupational hazards, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
In the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, the deteriorating foundation of the fire hall building will be replaced. The existing foundation condition puts the fire hall and public works building at risk of further damage and limited operations. Once the structural foundation is replaced, the building will be better able to provide continued service operations.
In Thompson-Nicola, both the Vavenby and Blackpool Fire Halls will undergo construction of an additional apparatus bay to safely house a Structural Protection Unit (SPU), a large storage unit for fire protection equipment. These types of SPUs help respond more quickly and effectively, and to help protect assets such as individual homes, cabins, ranches and other businesses.
The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are investing over $8.8 million in these projects through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program's new COVID-19 Community Resilience stream. Canada is contributing over $7.1 million, and B.C. is contributing more almost $1.7 million.
"Together with B.C., we are investing in critical community infrastructure that will accommodate fire response equipment, and support local firefighters and communities. More efficient and safer fire hall infrastructure can help reduce emergency response time, which can save lives. Canada's Infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates good jobs across Canada, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities."
Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood—Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
"I'm pleased to be working with our federal partners to improve fire safety in British Columbia. Our firefighters work hard each and every day to keep us safe, and we have to do our part to ensure they have the tools necessary to safely manage fires in their communities. This infrastructure funding a positive step forward in greater public safety around the province."
The Honourable Mike Farnworth, British Columbia's Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
Across B.C., the Government of Canada has invested more than $4.3 billion in over 550 infrastructure projects under the Investing in Canada plan.
To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 Resilience Stream has been added to the over $33-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund pandemic-resilient infrastructure. Existing program streams have also been adapted to include more eligible project categories.
Under the COVID-19 Resilience Stream, the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects is 80 per cent in the provinces, and 100 per cent in the territories and for projects intended for Indigenous communities.
For projects that are federally funded at 80 per cent, British Columbia contributed 20% to provide a total cost share of 100 per cent.
Investing in COVID-19 Community Resilience:
Investing in Canada: Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan:
Investing in Canada Plan Project Map:
Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia:
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada
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