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Federal Guidelines for Stimulus Funding

Posted on April 24, 2009
The feds have released guidelines for the distribution of $4 billion in stimulus funding for infrastructure. The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is part of Budget09. Funding is available for two years for projects that can get started in the 2009 construction season. The Fund will focus on the rehabilitation of existing assets and new infrastructure that can be finished by March 31, 2011. If the tight deadline alone isn't enough to make municipal leaders nervous, there's also a use-it-or-lose-it proviso attached to funding. If progress is slow, or provinces and territories can't match federal funding, funds can be reallocated to federal [...]

Canada’s Provinces, Eco-Rated

Posted on April 23, 2009
Our friends over at Corporate Knights have released their first comprehensive environmental report card for all of Canada's provinces and territories. The Green Provincial Report Card considered environmental performance across ten equally weighted categories-including greenhouse gases, organic food, green energy, green jobs, water use, biodiversity and car dependency. British Columbia topped the list with an overall score of 69 per cent for its green jobs, green buildings, organic food, and energy efficiency. Although the survey methodology adjusted for size of population and economy, Prince Edward Island pulled in at the bottom [...]

Happy Earth Day!

Posted on April 22, 2009
What are you doing to protect and conserve water? Canadian Water Treatment wants to know. [...]

CMHC Announces Infrastructure Loans

Posted on April 20, 2009
Municipalities can begin applying for direct, low-cost loans for shovel-ready infrastructure projects through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the feds announced yesterday. Under the federal Economic Action Plan, $2 billion in direct low-cost loans is being provided to municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure projects. Eligible municipal infrastructure projects must directly relate to housing, contributing to the efficient functioning of residential areas, such as water, wastewater and solid waste services, power generation; local transportation infrastructure within or into residential [...]

Still Work to Be Done: Strahl on First Nations Water

Posted on April 13, 2009
First Nations will have access to the same quality of safe and reliable water as all Canadians, said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today in a statement. Since the federal government launched the Plan of Action for Drinking Water in First Nation Communities in 2006, he said, there have been substantial improvements. "Since then, the number of First Nation communities with high risk water systems has been reduced by two-thirds. I'm also proud to report that out of the 21 priority communities identified in 2006 as having high-risk systems [...]

Gas Tax Funding Speeds Up and Doubles

Posted on April 3, 2009
John Baird, Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, announced today a shot in the arm for municipal infrastructure. Ongoing federal gas tax transfers to the provinces and territories for municipal infrastructure doubled on April 1, 2009 to a total of $2 billion a year, and the federal government is accelerating the first payment of the Gas Tax Fund, making up to $1 billion available to municipalities. The Gas Tax provides funding for projects such as drinking water, wastewater, local roads and public transit. Gas tax funding is being used for initiatives such as from the TransLink public transportation system in the South [...]

CF Surveillance to Help Spy Water Pollution

Posted on March 30, 2009
Ottawa has announced the locations of the two satellite reception ground stations for the Polar Epsilon project, marking the start of the second phase of the Arctic surveillance project. The project was initially developed for the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces (DND/CF) to improve surveillance capabilities over the Arctic and other large areas of responsibility. Polar Epsilon is a space-based wide area surveillance and support capability that is owned and run by DND. The project, valued at approximately $64.5 million, was approved on May 30, 2005. Using information from RADARSAT-2 to produce imagery for military [...]

Murky Waters Exposes Bottled Water Recalls

Posted on March 25, 2009
A new report released today by the Polaris Institute discusses the current state of federal bottled water regulations in Canada and calls it inadequate. The report, entitled Murky Waters: The urgent need for health and environmental regulations of the bottled water industry, claims that since 2000, there have been 29 recalls of 49 bottled water products in Canada (obtained through Access to Information by the Polaris Institute). The report also claims that bottled water plants are inspected on average once every three years, while tap water is regulated and inspected multiple times daily, and that the current mandatory labeling [...]

Flood Compensation for Sask. Residents

Posted on March 24, 2009
It's flood season. Yesterday, Dominion City became the first Manitoba community to declare a state of emergency to deal with the spring thaw and rains that have begun to raise water levels and threaten to flood some areas of the province. Monday also brought an announcement from the federal government: it will share the cost of eligible expenditures incurred by Saskatchewan through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) for damages caused by extensive flooding in the spring and summer of 2007. Extensive spring snow melt and water run-off resulted in extreme high water levels from March through to November 2007 [...]

Canada Invests $4.5M in UN Water Program

Posted on March 23, 2009
On the eve of World Water Day, Minister of the Environment Jim Prentice announced that Canada will invest $2.5 million over five years to support the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) Global Environment Monitoring System GEMS/Water, an international water science program aimed at understanding inland quality issues around the world. The $2.5 million will allow the program to expand, adding data quality management activities, water assessments and capacity building-offering training and advice to least-developed countries on how to set up water sampling programs.  These funds are in addition to Environment Canada's [...]
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