This year, there’s a little more gas tax in the tank than usual.
That’s because the federal government recently announced a doubling of its annual Gas Tax Fund (GTF) which provides annual funding to 190 different communities across the province.
“The Government of Canada is proud to deliver this stable, predictable long-term funding that communities rely on to develop their public infrastructure,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. By working with other orders of government, we are making significant progress and delivering concrete results for all Canadians.”
“From improving roads, water services and energy efficiency, to enhancing recreation and tourism centres, the federal Gas Tax Fund is helping keep families safe, promote economic development and improve people’s quality of life across the country.”
Taking into account the doubling of the GTF, Smithers will receive just over $575,000 in funding for 2019-2020, while Telkwa will receive just over $225,000.
Hazelton will receive a little over $130,000.
The GTF delivers over $2 billion every year to more than 3,600 communities across the country, with British Columbian municipalities receiving a little over $500 million in annual funding.
Communities can then use the money for immediate priority projects or to fund major infrastructure projects.
Funds can also be banked for later use or combined the funds of other communities for shared infrastructure projects.
President of the Union of BC Municipalities Arjun Singh said the extra funds are welcomed.
“The funding increase provided by the one-time top-up will help to accelerate the upgrade, expansion and construction of locally prioritized infrastructure,” he said. “Local governments across the province are appreciative of the federal government’s continued commitment to the Gas Tax program.”
The GTS has supported a diverse range of infrastructure projects, such as, a Bioenergy District Heating System installed by Granisle that helped the village achieve carbon neutral status.
To date, more than 48,000 projects have been approved under the plan.