The province, the federal government and municipality are investing up to $92 million in infrastructure improvements to build better communities and create more jobs for Nova Scotians. The governments of Nova Scotia and Canada announced today, Oct. 19, they will consider the Halifax Central Library project in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) as a priority for infrastructure funding consideration. Both governments also announced funding under the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund to support sewer-system improvements in Cape Breton and road initiatives across the province. The joint announcement was made by Premier Darrell Dexter, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Bill Estabrooks, federal Minister of Transport and Infrastructure John Baird, federal Minister of Defence Peter MacKay and HRM Mayor Peter Kelly. “I am pleased that this government continues to fulfill the commitments we made to Nova Scotians to maximize federal infrastructure spending,” said Premier Dexter. “Today’s announcement is providing much-needed infrastructure improvements, employing Nova Scotians, creating economic growth and making life better for people from across this province.” The funding for sewer-system improvements and road initiatives will be provided under the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund. Both governments have agreed to work together to ensure that these funds are delivered quickly and efficiently so construction can begin as soon as possible. “The federal government recognizes that libraries are important public spaces and learning centres,” said Mr. Baird. “We are proud of these investments, which are on top of the $14 million we committed for Halifax and Cape Breton just last month.” “Building infrastructure is critical to the economy of Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “These projects translate into more jobs, steady employment and better infrastructure to support local business and industries.” The sewer-system upgrades will improve the quality of sewage treatment, while the road initiatives will upgrade road conditions and increase road safety for drivers. The province will include these on its annual capital plan for the $25 million per year provided by the government of Canada for core infrastructure priorities in Nova Scotia. The total estimated cost of these improvements is $37.1 million. “As the regional minister for Nova Scotia, I am proud to be a part of these infrastructure investments that generate economic and employment opportunities across the province,” said Mr. MacKay. “These initiatives are important to Nova Scotians, creating various benefits that they can enjoy for years to come.” The Halifax Central Library, intended to replace the current Spring Garden Road Memorial Library, will serve as a resource centre for HRM residents, help drive the economic revitalization of the downtown area and be a new attraction for visiting tourists. The 109,000-square-foot facility will include a larger book collection, additional meeting and study rooms, a 250-seat auditorium and technology areas for computers. Canada is setting aside up to one-third of total eligible costs for this project, to a maximum federal contribution of $18.3 million from the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund. Nova Scotia would provide $13 million and HRM would contribute $23.7 million toward the project, which has a total estimated coat of $55 million. Federal funding would be conditional on the project meeting all requirements under the fund and the signing of a contribution agreement with the province. Beyond today’s funding announcement, the government of Canada is taking important steps to support economic growth. Canada’s Economic Action Plan is accelerating and expanding the existing federal investment of $33 billion in infrastructure across Canada with almost $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over the next two years.