BC government provides cities with $1 billion to upgrade amenities and infrastructure

Feb 10 2023, 6:46 pm

With growing construction costs due to inflation, aging facilities and infrastructure, and a growing population, municipal governments are hard-pressed to perform necessary capital investments in a timely manner.

That is why the Government of British Columbia announced today it will set aside $1 billion in new one-time funding for grants to local governments, which will help build community infrastructure and amenities.

By the end of March 2023, all 188 municipal governments and regional districts will receive funding for projects such as improvements to roads and water facilities, building new ice rinks, and expanding recreational facilities.

In a statement, Minister of Municipal Affairs Anne Kang said the improved and expanded infrastructure supports the provincial government’s recently enacted Housing Supply Act, which requires municipal governments to meet an annual quota in approving new housing supply, in a multi-faceted bid to tackle housing affordability issues.

Densification comes with population growth, which requires more infrastructure and amenities to support residents in their neighbourhoods.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates a cross-government co-operation to address the unique aspects of the housing crisis in each community, ensuring they can thrive into the future,” said Kang.

Jen Ford, the president of the Union of BC Municipalities, says the provincial government’s billion-dollar funding pool is an “unprecedented transfer” and the “largest single provincial investment in communities in our province’s history.”

In response to the announcement, Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke says her jurisdiction will greatly benefit from the investment due to its fast growth.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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