The City of Fernie will receive $652,800 from the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund transfer to improve their wastewater treatment system and help protect the Elk River for future generations.

“Our Government is proud to invest in this project to ensure that water returned to the Elk River meets or even exceeds treatment standards,” said David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay—Columbia. “Infrastructure investments are an important driver of economic growth and job creation, and I am pleased that these upgrades will help protect the environment and the health of Fernie residents.”

MP Dave Wilks, Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano, RDEK Area B Heath Slee, MLA Bill Bennett

The upgrades will help the City to more effectively discharge treated wastewater and thereby preserve the water quality and health of the Elk River. The length of the current outfall will be extended by 75 metres, enabling it to reach the main channel of the river. The total cost of the project is estimated at $816,000, which will include a contribution of $163,200 from the City.

“The health of our communities is essential to the social and economic success of our province,” MLA for Kootenay East, Bill Bennett. “These types of water quality projects are an important part of upgrading community infrastructure that is good for the environment, and provides for the future growth of the community.”

“On behalf of City Council and the residents of Fernie I would like to thank the Government of Canada for their contribution to this project,” said Mary Giuliano, Mayor of the City of Fernie. “The outfall improvement will bring the City in compliance with the new BC Provincial Municipal Wastewater Regulation and proposed draft Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations and will contribute to cleaner water which will benefit the critical fisheries habitat as well as downstream recreational users of the Elk River.”

“Bringing water and wastewater systems up to standard is a top priority for many BC communities,” said Union of British Columbia Municipalities President, Mary Sjostrom. “I appreciate the support the federal government is providing to allow this upgrade to get underway.”

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has made unprecedented investments in infrastructure. Through the Gas Tax Fund alone, municipalities across the country have received over $10 billion in transfers for local priority initiatives. Making this fund permanent at $2 billion annually was part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan – a plan to help create good jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Between 2007 and 2014, British Columbia will receive more than $1.48 billion from the Gas Tax Fund to improve local infrastructure. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.

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