Saint George – An announcement was made Friday that would see St. George residents, businesses, and the environment benefit from better water and wastewater infrastructure. This announcement was regarding strategic investments in public infrastructure, which includes funding for water and wastewater infrastructure, to ensure the community has access to modern and reliable water and wastewater services. This will also help to create jobs that help the middle class to grow.
On Friday, the Honourable Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest, along with the Honourable Andrea Anderson-Mason, Minister of Justice, Attorney General, Minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation, and Member of Legislative Assembly for Fundy-the Isles-Saint John West, and Her Worship Crystal Cook, Mayor of the Town of St. George, announced funding for three projects to improve water and wastewater services in St. George.
“The Government of Canada is making historic investments in infrastructure to grow our country’s economy and improve Canadians’ quality of life” said Ludwig. “Thanks to our $180 billion, 12-year infrastructure plan, thousands of projects are underway, or already completed nationwide. More than 2,400 clean water and wastewater projects have been improved in order to keep Canadians healthy and our waterways clean.”
The projects include the construction and improvement of water wells to increase the supply of clean drinking water to residents, improving sewer and water mains along Carleton and Portage streets, and updating a wastewater treatment system. Families and businesses in St. George will benefit from clean and reliable drinking water, better wastewater treatment, and a healthier environment that will help to serve future generations.
The Government of Canada has pledged to invest over $509,000 into these projects through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF), the Small Communities Fund (SCF), and the Green Infrastructure Stream (GIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. In addition, the Government of New Brunswick is contributing more than $425,000, and the Town of St. George is providing the remainder of funding for the project, more than $384,000.
Ludwig said the government needs to take the future of our communities into consideration. She noted as the Chair of the NB Caucus, she has heard “loud and clear” from Crystal Cook and other mayors it isn’t easy to put an application together. A lot of work is involved, and a level of expertise is also required many smaller communities may not have access to. She said it is also a level of funding, and she feels that in the past, smaller communities were left out of funding.
“Small municipalities weren’t putting in big applications, and some weren’t putting in any applications,” said Ludwig. “It was looking at the best way to get money and investment in our small communities. It was lowering the cost share for municipalities like St. George. Now, we have an historic agreement where, between the three levels of government, for the lowest cost share for the municipality. So, some of these projects that would never have come to fruition will now, thanks to this partnership.”
Ludwig said this investment to St. George will mean clean water, and wastewater improvement projects for the Town. People will have access to clean drinking water, and wastewater will be taken care of in an efficient way. She said it also means that there will be more opportunities for businesses moving into the area.
“Where do people want to move and start their businesses? They want to come to small communities with strong foundations. This is all part of that package. These are priorities that were actually shaped by the Town of St. George. I’m very proud to be a member of a government that has prioritized this,” said Ludwig.
The Honourable Andrea Anderson-Mason said clean drinking water is not only a priority for the government, but also a priority for herself. She emphasized that it helps to improve the lives of residents in the community, and that the ability to access clean drinking water is critical for the communities in order to sustain health. She said she has been asked to do numerous announcements in recent weeks, and has turned down most of them. This one however, was very near and dear to her heart, and she felt it was among the most important because drinking water is so critical.
“Protecting the environment is also a responsibility the Province of New Brunswick takes very seriously. It’s also a topic that means a great deal to me personally, not only as a Minister, but also as a resident,” said Anderson-Mason.
Anderson-Mason announced the provincial contribution to clean water wastewater infrastructure of $425,000 to help with the improvement of clean water and wastewater services in St. George. She said the combined funding has been or will be used for the construction of a new well, improvements to sewer and water mains, and updating the wastewater treatment system.
Anderson-Mason said, “This announcement goes to show that the three levels of government can work together to improve the quality of life for residents, and for businesses right here in this beautiful Town of St. George.”
St. George Mayor Crystal Cook said she is pleased to receive this funding from the Federal and Provincial governments. She noted that investing in water and wastewater is a key factor for improving the lives of residents, and for continuous growth in the community. She said this funding will give the Town of St. George more opportunities to supply more housing and more jobs, and provide a better guarantee to the community partners in the business park, as well as positive economic growth for the future. She said the grants will be used for construction of the new well, as well as improvements to the current well.
“We’re basically getting two wells, and an aeration system. It’s going to be really, really good for the Town,” said Cook. “It means that we can have a better future and more economic growth, because we now have better water We won’t experience the critical shortage like we had last year.”