Develop recovery infrastructure framework: UBCM

Municipalities want flexibility on local projects

The B.C. government should develop an infrastructure stimulus framework to maximize local government choice in use of funds, Union of B.C. Municipalities delegates voted Sept. 23.

The province has already announced a $1.5 million recovery fund.

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However, the UBCM wants a local framework to assist in that work.
Delegates voted 93% in favour of the resolution.

Premier John Horgan announced $1.62 billion for municipalities, transit and education as part of the pandemic economic recovery plan released Sept. 17.

The motion said infrastructure funding has historically generated significant economic returns for local communities, through increased employment, dollar flow to local businesses and the creation of community assets.

The resolution said municipalities should have flexibility on project categories, eligible costs, procurement and timelines as well as 100% funding for any recovery program and/or current infrastructure program.

Moreover, a framework should support shovel-worthy projects over shovel-ready projects, the resolution said.

The UBCM policy position is that of long-standing support for infrastructure funding programs that build critical infrastructure, advance community priorities and generate local economic spin-offs.

“In particular, UBCM supported the creation of, and is a partner in, the Gas Tax Fund through the Gas Tax Agreement that ran from 2005-14, as well as the Administrative Agreement on the Federal Gas Tax Agreement that took effect on April 1, 2014. This tripartite Agreement between Canada-British Columbia-UBCM replaced the 2005-2014 Agreement and provides the administrative framework for the delivery of federal Gas Tax funding to local governments and other recipients in British Columbia over 10 years (2014-24),” the notes said.

jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca

@jhainswo

 

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