Federal budget announces one-time top-up payment for local governments

Gas Tax Funding will help governments with infrastructure projects

Local governments across the country will be sharing a top-up of $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund, and municipalities in the region have been told what their share is to be.

The Federal government’s 2019 budget promised to support municipalities’ local infrastructure priorities through a one-time top-up that is in addition to the annual Gas Tax Funds they normally receive. According to Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu’s office, the Village of Ashcroft will receive $127,059.72; Cache Creek will receive $101,078.38; and Lytton will receive $65,199.40.

Clinton is not in Sidhu’s riding, but it is anticipated that the Village will receive approximately $83,000 in additional Gas Tax Funds, based on the fact that other communities have received the same amount in additional funding that they normally receive annually.

The funding is intended to address short-term infrastructure priorities in municipalities and First Nation communities.

Other highlights of Budget 2019 include giving all Canadians access to high-speed internet, including rural, remote, and northern communities; introducing a new incentive for buying electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price under $45,000; helping make education more affordable through lowered interest rates on Canada Student Loans, and making the six-month grace period interest-free after a student loan borrower leaves school; enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement earnings exemption so that low-income seniors who are still in the workforce can effectively keep more of their income; making home ownership more affordable for first-time buyers by implementing a First-Time Home Buyer Incentive; and helping Canadians with the cost of prescription drugs by taking steps towards a national pharmacare plan.

“This Budget is great for Canadians and great for British Columbians,” says Sidhu. “Its aims, specifically as regards housing, education, seniors, and healthcare, will be of tremendous benefit to the people of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.”


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