Ottawa and Quebec team up to pump $640 million into the province's water systems
MONTREAL -- Quebec and Ottawa are teaming up to invest close to $320 million each in infrastructure projects in the province to improve its water systems.
A good chunk of the money will go towards improving end-of-life water mains.
At Montreal's water treatment plant on Thursday, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna and Quebec Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Andree Laforest announced joint funding contributions of over $637.8 million for 280 drinking water, storm drain and wastewater projects in municipalities across the province.
The projects will rehabilitate existing pipes, pumping stations and treatment facilities as well as the construction of some new facilities.
Canada will dole out $318.9 million, and Quebec is providing $318.9 million through the Fonds pour l'infrastructure municipale d'eau (FIMEAU) funding program.
Of the total, $86 million is earmarked for the Montreal region for 11 water and wastewater modernization projects in Montreal and one in Senneville.
"The water infrastructures in Montreal are very old, so we have to do a lot of work," said Sud-Ouest Mayor Benoit Dorais.
McKenna also announced Aug. 5 that Ottawa will pay 80 per cent of certain infrastructure needs that were created by the pandemic when she introduced the new COVID-19 resilience stream and changes to the $33-billion-plus Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
"Whether it's at schools or long-term care facilities, better ventilation, Plexiglass, measures to allow for physical distancing," she said.
The offer is for short-term projects that must be started no later than Sep. 30, 2021 and completed by the end of 2021.
The water projects will be completed over the next few years.
"Modern and efficient water infrastructure is essential to support healthy and resilient communities throughout Quebec," said McKenna.