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October 13, 2005
For immediate release

First Projects Announced Under Canada-Prince Edward Island Municipal Rural Infrastructue Fund (MRIF)

Community and Cultural Affairs

More than $14.6 million will be invested in communities from Alberton to Souris under the first round of the Canada-Prince Edward Island Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF). Details of the projects were announced today in New London by the Honourable Joe McGuire, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Honourable Pat Binns, Premier of Prince Edward Island.

“Communities have identified their priority projects. The Government of Canada is pleased to contribute to these initiatives that will enhance both the rural and urban areas of our province,” said Minister McGuire. “These announcements illustrate our continued commitment to enhancing the economic, environmental and social sustainability of our communities through sound infrastructure investments.”

A priority under the MRIF is green projects to ensure effective wastewater management and safe drinking water, as well as environmental energy improvements. Under the MRIF agreement, more than 40 per cent of the federal and provincial funding will support green projects. Other priorities include local roads, improved Internet connections and local culture, recreation and tourism.

"Communities play a significant role in the economic well being and prosperity of Prince Edward Island and supporting strong communities is a priority for this government," said Premier Pat Binns. "Infrastructure partnerships such as this continue to ensure the funding necessary to assist communities as they work to enhance facilities and provide adequate services to residents now and in the future."

Municipal capacity building is also supported under MRIF to help communities better assess their existing infrastructure and assist with future planning. One per cent of the overall federal and provincial funding under the agreement, will be designated for capacity building.

"The Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund is of great importance to municipalities, and FPEIM thanks the Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island for the substantial financial commitments they have made within the framework of this excellent program," said Stan Campbell, President, Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities. "The projects announced today will enable municipalities across Prince Edward Island to move forward with important capital projects, which would not otherwise be possible. The greatest beneficiaries of these initiatives will be the citizens of PEI."

A total of 34 projects with a value of $14.6 million have been announced to benefit communities across the province. Through the MRIF, more than $54 million will be invested between 2005 and 2012 in infrastructure projects by the Government of Canada, the Government of Prince Edward Island and local governments and organizations. Over the next seven years, this initiative will support renewal, expansion and material enhancement of infrastructure in rural and urban parts of the province.

The Canada-Prince Edward Island Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund is administered by ACOA and the PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. The Federation of PEI Municipalities is represented on the program's management committee.

Media Contact: Jennifer MacLeod
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