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Canada and Alberta Reach Agreement under New Federal Infrastructure Funding Programs

The governments of Canada and Alberta are making investments to create jobs and grow the middle class now while building a foundation for a strong, sustainable economic future.

Investing in local infrastructure ensures Canadians have safe water and wastewater treatment systems that they can rely on. It also supports efficient, affordable and sustainable public transit systems to get to work, school and public services on time and back home safely at the end of a long day.

Today, Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Brian Mason, Alberta Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation, announced a bilateral agreement that will make more than $1.08 billion in funding available under two new federal programs – the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.

“Infrastructure is the foundation of the Canada we want to build for tomorrow. The Government of Canada recognizes that we need a solid partnership with all orders of government to support infrastructure and create good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today. We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Alberta, which will make over $1.08 billion in funding available so that Alberta communities can address their specific infrastructure priorities, while helping grow the middle class with good, well-paying jobs.” – Amarjeet Sohi, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

The federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of funding – more than $543 million – for projects supported through these programs and the provincial government and municipalities will provide the balance of funding.

“Working together, we are improving people’s access to clean water, improved wastewater treatment facilities and public transportation, all while supporting economic growth. These investments not only help Albertans get back to work, they also mean better services and better quality of life for everyone.” – Brian Mason, Alberta Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation

Also announced today was an initial list of approved projects in Alberta under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The list includes important investments in 46 transit projects across Edmonton to support critical planning for the city’s next LRT expansion, as well as buses, LRT cars and significant infrastructure upgrades for the city’s existing transit system. It also includes 17 water and wastewater projects, such as a regional water supply system extension in Bonnyville that will give residents access to clean and reliable drinking water, supporting future growth and quality of life, and better protecting the local environment.

“I’d like to thank both the provincial and federal governments for their commitment to infrastructure investments in our city and I look forward to continuing our work together to support an effective public transportation system in Edmonton. It’s a critical component of infrastructure that supports the success of this city and its residents.” – Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton

Read the full press release from the Government of Alberta here.
Image from Edmonton Mayor’s Office Twitter.

Canada and Ontario sign agreement for Public Transit Infrastructure Funding

The Government of Canada remains committed to making significant investments in infrastructure that will improve our public transit systems, strengthen Canadian communities, and help create jobs and grow the middle class now while building a strong foundation for a sustainable economic future.

Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, announced a bilateral agreement that will provide more than $2.97 billion in combined funding – by the Government of Canada, Ontario, and municipalities – for projects across the province.

This agreement will reduce commute times and make public transit more efficient and inclusive, so that millions of people spend less time waiting in traffic, and more time doing the things they love.

These investments mean renewed and expanded transit systems, upgraded transit vehicles, timely repairs to subway tracks, new public transit express routes, and enhanced accessibility that will help improve the quality of life for Ontarians.

“I am delighted Ontario has reached an agreement with the federal government on the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. This partnership between Ontario, the federal government and our municipalities builds on the historic infrastructure investments Ontario is already making as part of our economic plan for jobs and growth. The projects supported through this new agreement will make people’s everyday transit experiences better and support the growth of our low-carbon economy for decades.”
— The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Read the full press release from the Government of Canada here.

Eglinton Crosstown Tunnelling Complete

Tunnelling is now complete on the 10-kilometre underground tunnel of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) line.

Today, tunnel boring machines (TBMs) Don and Humber, boring the eastern segment tunnels, arrived at Yonge Street having travelled 3,300 metres from where they started just east of Brentcliffe Road in September 2015. In total, Don and Humber installed 26,178 precast concrete tunnel segments, which formed 4,363 rings. TBMs Dennis and Lea completed tunnelling on the western segment of the Crosstown when they reached Yonge Street in May 2016.

New, modern light rail vehicles operating on tracks separated from regular traffic will offer fast, efficient service and improve travel for people across the region by enabling travel up to 60 per cent faster than existing bus service. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT will also help fight climate change by managing greenhouse gas emissions from Ontario’s transportation sector. The new LRT line will have 25 stations and stops along Eglinton Avenue between Weston Road and Kennedy Station, and will also link to 54 bus routes, three TTC interchange subway stations, and GO Transit.

“Having our east tunnel boring machines reach Yonge Street is another exciting progress milestone for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project. With tunnelling now complete for both the east and west segments of the line and construction underway on many underground stations, our vision of a modern, integrated transit line in Toronto that connects to three subway stations, three GO stations, and an UP Express station is even closer to becoming a reality.” Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO, Metrolinx

Read the full Government of Ontario press release here.

Image from Metrolinx twitter.

Video: SkyTrain boss attempts to put human face on Metro Vancouver transit

She loves the idea of driverless trains, but new SkyTrain boss Vivienne King is on a mission to give transit a more human face.

She has already started by asking her 870 staff members — engineers, maintenance workers and SkyTrain attendants — to wear name badges as they go about their work. And next month, on Sept. 8, King, who also wears a badge, will join SkyTrain attendants and her vice-president of engineering at Waterfront to greet the travelling public before visiting other stations.

“They can come and say hello and tell me their worries if they want,” she said. “It’s all about putting a face to this business. I want customers to know there are people running their railway. The first thing is that our staff is actually going to get out of the office and meet the people.”

 

Watch the video and read the full story at The Province.

Minister attends Deloitte’s “Transit Enabling Livable Communities” roundtable

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Responsible for TransLink, issued the following statement after attending Deloitte’s “Transit Enabling Livable Communities” roundtable today:

“The issue of housing supply and affordability is impacting British Columbians and the livability of our Province, especially the Metro Vancouver region.

“We also know that there is a critical need for new and expanded transit services to not only reduce congestion, provide vital community connections and meet climate objectives, but to also support increased housing supply, that in turn, creates more options for affordable housing.

“Today’s roundtable was an important first step for different levels of government and industry leaders to identify potential solutions to housing affordability based on the idea of increasing supply through transit investments.

“The research outlined by Deloitte today also aligns with our government’s six principles of housing affordability in B.C. These include:

  1. Ensuring that all levels of government work together to ensure there is enough supply in the market to meet demand;
  2. Making smart transit investments that will link livable communities and make it easier and faster to get around;
  3. Supporting first time home buyers to get into the market;
  4. Protecting consumers from shady real estate practices;
  5. Increasing the supply of rental housing in the market; and
  6. Ensuring that the dream of home ownership remains within reach of the middle class.

 

Read the full press release from the Government of BC here.