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July 6, 2006
For immediate release

Ministers Make Two Infrastructure Announcements

Community and Cultural Affairs

The City of Charlottetown, Pat and the Elephant and 26 Island municipalities received funding today when federal ACOA Minister Peter MacKay and Prince Edward Island Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Elmer MacFadyen announced the receipt of funding through the Canada-Prince Edward Island Public Transit Fund and the Canada-Prince Edward Island Gas Tax Fund.

Canada-Prince Edward Island Public Transit Fund:

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, was in Charlottetown today with federal public transit funds for the new public transit system in Charlottetown and for Pat and the Elephant. The Honourable Elmer MacFadyen, Minister responsible for Infrastructure, presented Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee with public transit funding for new busses and presented funding to Pat and the Elephant as well.

Ministers MacKay and MacFadyen, and Mayor Lee, arrived at the news conference aboard Charlottetown’s newest transit bus, which was unveiled to the public today. The new bus was purchased through the Canada-Prince Edward Island Public Transit Agreement, which transferred $1,726,642 to the province this year. In addition to this funding under the Public Transit Capital Trust announced in the federal budget 2006, Prince Edward Island will be eligible to receive an extra $3.8 million over the next two years, conditional on a budget surplus.

Peter MacKay, on behalf of Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, noted that, “I am pleased to be here, to ride this brand new bus, and to inaugurate the Island’s public transit system. As a result of the Canada-Prince Edward Island agreement on the transfer of federal public transit funds, Charlottetown is able to offer its residents public transit. Public transit is a key feature of vibrant, liveable communities and now the people of Charlottetown are able to experience the environmental and economic benefits that it brings.”

“As Mayor of the Capital City of Prince Edward Island, I am extremely pleased to accept this much needed funding for our transit system and infrastructure systems,” said Mayor Clifford Lee. “A transit system in Charlottetown is an initiative that has been talked about for many years and with the support of the Federal and Provincial Governments this transit system has now become a reality.”

Pat and the Elephant is receiving funding for the purchase of two vans for the transportation of individuals with disabilities. Tom DeBlois, President of the Board of Directors of Pat and The Elephant was on hand to accept a cheque for $125,000 from Minister MacFadyen. “Pat and the Elephant is committed to providing an excellent transportation service to people with a broad range of disabilities,” said Mr. DeBlois. “I am pleased to accept this funding, which will enable us to purchase two wheelchair accessible vans and expand our service.”

Canada-Prince Edward Island Gas Tax Fund:

Minister MacKay also confirmed today that the federal government transferred $2.25 million, the first of two payments to the province through the agreement on the transfer of federal gas tax revenues under the New Deal for Cities and Communities. Gas tax money will be used to fund sewer and water upgrades in 26 Island communities, sludge remediation, and work on municipal roads and bridges.

Under the Gas Tax Agreement, signed in November 2005, PEI will receive a total of $37.5 million over the next five years: $4.5 million in 05/06 and in 06/07; $6.0 million in 07/08; $7.5 million in 08/09 and $15.0 million in 09/10.

Minister MacFadyen said he was pleased to present Mayor Lee with the first of two payments for 06/07 under the new deal funding agreement. Through the agreement on the transfer of federal gas tax revenues under the New Deal for Cities and Communities, 26 Prince Edward Island communities will receive a total of $17,142,903 for capital upgrades, which could include water infrastructure, wastewater treatment, roads and bridges.

Minister MacFadyen said the province expects to be forwarding the funding to the municipalities within the next few days.

“Funding from both of these agreements will help our Island communities meet their objectives and provide for a cleaner, healthier environment,” said Minister MacFadyen. “Islanders want and deserve improved water and sewer systems; Charlottetown residents want reliable, sustainable public transit. Our government is very pleased to work with the Government of Canada and with Island municipalities to ensure funding for these projects is forthcoming, today and for years to come.”

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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