ARCHIVED - A Canada-Quebec Partnership to Benefit the City of Gatineau

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Gatineau, Quebec, October 2nd 2009 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister responsible for the Outaouais region and MP for Pontiac, Lawrence Cannon, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, John Baird and Quebec Minister for Transport, Minister Responsible for the Outaouais Region and Member for Papineau, Norman MacMillan, are pleased to announce a joint grant of $5,157,320 for the city of Gatineau, through the federal-provincial agreement pertaining to the pipeline renewal program, le Programme de renouvellement des conduites (PRECO). Together with municipal contributions, investments totalling $7,569,015 will enable the completion of important infrastructure work in Gatineau.

"Through the federal contribution to PRECO, the Government of Canada will create hundreds of jobs and boost the Quebec economy," said Minister Cannon. "Today's announcement is proof of our government's commitment towards the Outaouais economy and more specifically, to revitalize water and wastewater pipelines throughout Quebec."

"Thanks to PRECO, the city of Gatineau will be able to improve its water distribution and wastewater collection systems, which will ensure the quality of life of their citizens. These major investments will also retain many jobs in the Outaouais region, as well as ensure the sustainable development of a prosperous Quebec," added Minister MacMillan.

This announcement comes nearly two months after the priority PRECO announcement on March 26, 2009, by the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, and the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Jean Charest, which demonstrates the speed with which the federal and provincial governments are implementing this program. The launch of PRECO on April 6, 2009, is possible due to a joint contribution from Canada and Quebec of approximately $700 million. With municipal contributions, more than $1 billion will be available for projects that will be completed in the next two years.

PRECO is a simple and innovative program that will enable Quebec municipalities to conduct repairs or replace water and wastewater pipes. Investment priorities will be determined by the municipalities based on an action plan that they will have submitted to the Quebec Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy. The municipalities themselves are responsible for choosing between the repair or replacement of the pipes, which provides them more autonomy. The underground pipeline network for all Quebec municipalities stretches more than 80,000 km at an estimated value of over $60 billion.

The Government of Canada's contribution to PRECO comes from the new $4 billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, which is part of Canada's Economic Action Plan announced in the January 2009 Budget. The federal government set aside up to $350 million of this fund for projects approved through PRECO.

The $350-million contribution from the Government of Quebec is part of the Quebec infrastructure plan, le Plan Québécois des infrastructures, which was expanded in January 2009 and now includes an investment of almost $42 billion for renewing existing infrastructure throughout Quebec over the next five years.

Additional information:

For more information on infrastructure investments, please visit Creating Jobs or Canada's Infrastructures.

For more information about Canada's Economic Action Plan, please visit
Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Contacts:

Chris Day
Press Secretary
Officer of Canada's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
613-991-0700

Sylvain Bourassa
Press Secretary
Office of the Quebec's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Minister responsible for the Centre-du-Québec Region
418-380-2525

Infrastructure Canada
613-948-1148

Sylvie Descoeurs
Local Political Advisor and Communication Advisor
Office of the Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region and MNA for Papineau
819-986-9300