TORONTO—The Government of Canada has delivered the first of two $408 million annual investments of the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) to Ontario municipalities, including those on Manitoulin Island. In total, over $819 million is being provided this year through the fund.
The GTF is a long-term, indexed source of funding that supports local infrastructure projects in more than 600 communities across the province every year. “Local governments know best what their communities need and the Government of Canada is proud to deliver stable, long-term funding that they count on to develop and maintain their public infrastructure. By investing in our communities, the Government of Canada is promoting economic growth and environmental sustainability, strengthening the middle class and helping ensure all Canadians have access to the opportunities they need to succeed,” said the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
The 2018-2019 federal gas tax fund allocations on Manitoulin Island include by community: Assiginack, $61,154; Billings, $32,233; Burpee and Mills, $19,620; Central Manitoulin, $124,728; Dawson Local Roads Board. $10,724; Gordon/Barrie Island, $33,507; Gore Bay, $54,147; Killarney, $32,169; Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, $172,377; Robinson (Local Roads Board), $21,224; Tehkummah, $25,863; and Willisville (Local Roads Board), $726.
Some communities will use the funding to improve and repair their local roads, bridges and wastewater systems, leading to communities that are cleaner and better connected to each other. In addition, the Province of Ontario will use a portion of the annual allocation to maintain and upgrade rural access roads in unincorporated areas of Northern Ontario.
Transit, roads and wastewater systems are only three of the 18 project categories eligible for funding under the program. This wide range demonstrates the flexibility of the GTF in allowing communities to direct their allocations to their most pressing local needs.
Lynn Dollin, president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) said, “between 2014 and 2018, Ontario municipalities will have received more than $3.8 billion from the federal Gas Tax Fund to invest in local infrastructure. Federal Gas Tax investment is making a difference in our communities, resulting in smoother roads, better public transit, more playgrounds and much more. AMO is proud to deliver this federal funding directly to Ontario’s municipal governments.”
Communities can invest across 18 different project categories. They can also use the funds immediately for priority projects, bank them for later use, pool the dollars with other communities for shared infrastructure projects or use them to finance major infrastructure expenditures.