This week brings news of long-anticipated launch dates for one federal program to help our local municipalities and another to help protect the interests of consumers across Canada.
The application period officially began this week for the Building Canada Fund Communities Component here in British Columbia. As part of the largest federal investment in infrastructure since the second world war, the Communities Component is specifically designed for municipalities with populations of less than 100,000 ?that?s all the cities, districts, towns and villages in Prince George-Peace River.
The $272-million program, including $25-million for flood mitigation projects, will help small communities with mounting infrastructure pressures. I know that our local municipalities have long lists of projects to either rehabilitate aging roads and water and sewer systems or to ensure they can meet the growing needs of their community. Our Conservative Government, in cooperation with the Province of BC, is accepting applications from these smaller communities for the following types of projects:
Drinking Water: to improve drinking water treatment and distribution systems and to protect drinking water sources, as well as increasing the number of households with access to safe drinking water.
Wastewater Management: to reduce the negative impacts of municipal wastewater effluent or storm-water effluent on human health and the environment, and improve the management of wastewater sludge. Roads: to improve road safety, mobility and sustainability; promote the rehabilitation of bridges, tunnels and other structures; and, support economic and community development.
Shortline Railways: to help reduce congestion on highways and serve new freight customers by supporting the construction, rehabilitation and/or upgrading of tracks and structures for safe and efficient operations by shortline railways companies. Tourism: to construct or improve convention centres or exhibition hall-type facilities that increase the number of visitors to the community and the length and quality of their stay.
Given that the deadline for applications is September 5th, my staff is already meeting with municipal staff throughout the riding to ensure they are well-prepared to seize this important opportunity, as well as other federal programs and services which can help them to better serve local residents. More information is available at: www.bcbuildingcanadafundcommunities.ca. And while municipalities are marking that date on their calendar, consumers may want to circle September 30th. That?s when the long-awaited National Do Not Call List (DNCL) will be launched. The DNCL is a service that will allow Canadians to reduce the number of unsolicited telemarketing calls they receive.
Last December, pursuant to new federal legislation, the CRTC awarded a five-year contract to Bell Canada to operate the National DNCL. Currently, each telemarketer is required to maintain its own ?do not call list?, for which you must register separately to reduce or avoid calls. With the DNCL, you will only have to register your Canadian telephone number on one list.
The DNCL will be responsible for registering numbers, providing telemarketers with up-do-date versions of the National DNCL, and receiving consumer complaints about telemarketing calls. For more information go to: www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/dncl.htm.