Canada, British Columbia to Invest Nearly $800 Million for Wastewater Treatment

The governments of Canada and British Columbia and the Capital Regional District (CRD) recently announced funding for the construction of a new wastewater treatment system for the region. This project will reduce marine pollution by vastly improving the quality of municipal wastewater discharged into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

?Our Government is proud to support this critically important initiative that will protect the marine environment around Victoria and southern Vancouver Island for future generations,? said James Moore, minister of Canadian heritage and official languages and senior minister responsible for British Columbia. ?This infrastructure project will create local jobs, leverage private sector investment and contribute to the long-term well-being of Vancouver Islanders.?

The new system, known as the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program (CAWTP), will consist of three projects: the construction of the McLoughlin Wastewater Treatment Plant and Marine Outfall, a Biosolids Energy Centre and Conveyance System Upgrades. The total capital cost of the CAWTP is estimated to be $782.7 million. The total proposed federal contribution will be up to $253.4 million, the total provincial contribution is a maximum of $248 million and the CRD will provide the balance, estimated at close to $281.3 million. The Biosolids Energy Centre portion of the Program will be delivered through a public-private partnership (P3), with support from the P3 Canada Fund. As a P3, the CRD will be able to harness private sector innovation and ensure the best possible value for taxpayers’ money.

?This project is intended to bring the region’s infrastructure in line with environmental standards, help to preserve our precious waterways and create vital jobs for B.C. families,? said Ida Chong, B.C. minister of community, sport and cultural development. ?It’s good for the environment, it’s good for the economy and it demonstrates leadership in sustainability.?

Once completed, the CAWTP will significantly improve the level of wastewater treatment, as well as reduce the volume and incidents of untreated wastewater discharge as a result of sewer overflows. The new facilities will be designed to satisfy British Columbia?s Wastewater Regulation and the proposed federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.

?This funding consideration brings us one step closer to providing effective, innovative and environmentally-responsible wastewater treatment for our residents,? said Geoff Young, CRD board chair. ?I am pleased to see our federal and provincial partners? investment in this important initiative.?

Federal funding for McLoughlin Wastewater Treatment Plant and Marine Outfall, and Conveyance System Upgrades is conditional on Treasury Board approval and the signing of the contribution agreements. The project must also meet all the terms and conditions of federal infrastructure programs, as well as respect any applicable legal obligations, including those related to aboriginal consultation and environmental assessment. The Biosolids Energy Centre meets the terms and conditions of the P3 Canada Fund and is eligible under the wastewater infrastructure category.

The P3 Canada Fund is a merit-based program with the objective of supporting P3 infrastructure projects that achieve value for Canadians, develop the Canadian P3 market and generate significant public benefits. ?PPP Canada? was established by the Government of Canada to improve the delivery of public infrastructure by achieving better value, timeliness and accountability to taxpayers through public-private partnerships.

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