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July 8, 2005
For immediate release

July 22 First Deadline for Applications Under the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund

Community and Cultural Affairs

The first deadline for applications under the $54 Million Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF) is July 22, 2005. In announcing this new program last April 27, the Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island stated that eligible applicants include municipalities, unincorporated areas and community organizations. Up to one third of the total amount is available for projects in this first funding round.

“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in communities and MRIF has proven to be an innovative and effective approach, designed to take into account the unique priorities of both large and small communities across the Island. This program has had and will continue to have a tremendous impact on the economic, environmental, cultural and social sustainability of communities across Prince Edward Island,” said Honourable Joe McGuire, Minister of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

“MRIF offers a unique opportunity to support communities in enhancing local infrastructure to support future growth and development,” said PEI Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Honourable Elmer MacFadyen. “The objectives of this program aim to improve our quality of life through investments that enhance the environment, support long-term economic growth and improve community infrastructure initiatives which can benefit all Islanders.”

The MRIF includes a strong “green” element. At least 40 per cent of the fund will support projects that lead to cleaner air and water. These include improvements to local

systems for water, wastewater, solid waste, and environmental energy improvements to municipal buildings. Public transit projects also count as “green,” helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

A secondary focus provides for investment in other categories such as local roads, better Internet connections, and projects that promote local culture, recreation and tourism.

In addition, up to one per cent of the Federal and Provincial share of the fund will be devoted to infrastructure capacity building to help communities better assess their existing infrastructure and strengthen municipal planning.

A second call for applications will be made at a later date; more information is available by calling the Canada-Prince Edward Island Infrastructure Secretariat at (902) 368-4882 or visiting the website at www.gov.pe.ca/go/infrastructure.

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Media Contact: Jennifer MacLeod
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