Canada launches $1 billion infrastructure fund

WHITEHORSE, YUKON - Brian Jean, Parliamentary Secretary to John Baird, Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, and Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie announced that the enhancement of existing hydro power infrastructure at the Mayo hydro facility along with Phase 2 of the Carmacks-Stewart transmission line will be the first project to be funded under the new $1-billion Green Infrastructure Fund, part of the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Government is targeting investments in green infrastructure to stimulate the economy and improve the environment," said Minister Baird. "This new Green Infrastructure Fund is part of our Government's Economic Action Plan to create jobs and boost the economy through infrastructure investments, while also promoting long-term growth and improving the environment."

"The Mayo B initiative creates a great partnering opportunity for our Government with Yukon First Nations and the Federal Government. Expanding hydro-generated power will reduce our carbon footprint by displacing thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, creating a greener Yukon," said Premier Dennis Fentie. "By proactively developing green energy, we are not only providing more cost effective energy, but also creating lasting employment for Yukoners."

"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting infrastructure projects that will boost the economy and create jobs for Canadians while promoting cleaner, greener living," said Brian Jean, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister.

"We are working to get projects, such as the Mayo hydro project and transmission line initiatives started now to help provide economic opportunities for Yukoners while supporting environmentally sound infrastructure growth."

Due to Yukon's current reliance on diesel for much of its electricity, it is expected that the project will reduce forecast diesel generation in 2012 by over 40%. In turn, this will reduce green house gases from energy production by 50% from current levels.

The Governments of Canada and Yukon will be contributing funding for this project. The Government of Canada will provide up to $71 million for this project. The total estimated cost of the project is $160 million.

Upgrades to the Mayo hydro facility will include building a new powerhouse downstream from the existing one, while Phase 2 of the Carmacks-Stewart transmission line will complete the development of a transmission line connecting Yukon's two grid systems.

This investment also supports the Government of Canada's integrated Northern Strategy that is focused on strengthening Canada's sovereignty, protecting our environmental heritage, promoting economic and social development as well as improving and devolving governance.

The Government of Canada will provide $1 billion over five years for the Green Infrastructure Fund. This Fund supports sustainable energy generation and transmission, along with municipal wastewater and solid waste management infrastructure. The Government is working with provinces, territories and other stakeholders to identify and approve more projects under this Fund.

The Government of Canada is moving forward with one of the largest infrastructure programs in history to create jobs and stimulate the economy. The 2009 Economic Action Plan is accelerating and expanding recent historic federal investment in infrastructure with almost $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over two years.


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