An increase in the maximum payout per household in the provincial Relocation Policy, funding of $49 million for Municipal Operating Grants, a new Capital Works Program for the seven largest municipalities in the province, and funding for recreation initiatives were among the items announced in Budget 2013 today in relation to towns and cities across the province.
The provincial government will also commit $750,000 to further advance the work underway on the development and implementation of a province-wide basic 911 system.
“These new programs will support community development across the province,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O’Brien.
“In addition, the provincial government will begin discussions with key stakeholders including Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador on a review of the provincial-municipal fiscal framework to ensure that it is sustainable and fair for all municipalities in the province.”
Some of the programs and initiatives to receive funding include:
• A commitment to maintain Municipal Operating Grants at existing funding levels for communities under 11,000 residents for the remainder of 2013;
• $22 million to support a new Municipal Operating Grant formula for communities under 11,000 residents effective Jan. 1, 2014. This formula will ensure that no municipality will receive less funding than their current level and most will see an increase;
• $25 million committed to support the development of a new Capital Works Program for the seven municipalities in the province with populations greater than 11,000 which will no longer receive municipal operating grants. These are St. John’s, Conception Bay South, Mount Pearl, Paradise, Corner Brook, Gander, and Grand Falls-Windsor.
As the province continues to experience unprecedented growth and development, it is recognized that housing prices have grown substantially, and populations in some remote areas of the province have declined rapidly.
The provincial government continues to support a voluntary relocation program in municipalities where at least 90 per cent of residents vote to relocate. In recognition of this, under Budget 2013, the Department of Municipal Affairs is implementing an increase in the maximum payout per household in the provincial Relocation Policy from the current $100,000 to $270,000. This increase will provide individuals considering relocation with more realistic funding to facilitate a move should their community vote to do so.
Sport and recreation
The province will allocate $7.6 million in sport and recreation opportunities that play a key role in achieving the provincial government’s vision of healthier and more prosperous communities across Newfoundland and Labrador.
• $750,000 allocated to further advance the work underway on the development and implementation of a province-wide basic 911 system. A modern and effective 911 system is of great importance to both residents and municipal governments throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. In the interest of public safety and sustaining a secure future for emergency services, government has committed to expand basic 911 service throughout the province by the end of 2014;
- Read more special articles:
- NLOWE applauds provincial budget
- Amalgamated school board to be in place by September school start
- Feeling the weight of budget cuts
- The Rooms, Arts and Culture Centres see drop in funding
• $612,000 to provide Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers with a new tool to combat illegal conservation activities. Providing equipment and software for 40 mobile work stations, will allow officers to more effectively perform their duties.
• This in addition to the already announced $1 million to form a Task Force on Child Exploitation and Drugs.
• $6.5 million for board and lodging supplements for adults with disabilities who live with family;
• $4.8 million for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing’s Supportive Living Program to advance the work of community partners and stakeholders;
• $1.2 million to enhance health benefits for income support recipients; and,
• $1.1 million for the Kids Eat Smart Foundation.
• $1.8 million to violence prevention, including $820,000 this year to 10 Regional Co-ordinating Committees Against Violence;
• Approximately $1 million to the province’s eight Status of Women Centres;
• $200,000 for the Aboriginal Women’s Violence Prevention Grants Program;
• $125,000 through the Poverty Reduction Strategy for continued support of the Inuit Women’s Capacity Building Project;
• $110,000 annual funding to the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre;
• $105,000 annual funding to the Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador;
• $100,000 annual funding to the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador; and,
• $100,000 continued support to the Newfoundland and Labrador Aboriginal Women’s Network.
• $2.5 million to remediate the soil in the public and residential areas of Buchans that were impacted by the former mine in Buchans. This is part of a two-year $5 million program;
• $2 million to complete necessary repairs on the Gullbridge Tailings Dam, secure its integrity and mitigate future environmental and safety issues;
• $1.2 million for the continuation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund which will allow the Provincial Government to continue to enhance efforts in the area of environmental protection and help ensure a sustainable and healthy environment in the future;
• $224,000 to allow the continuation of real-time water quality monitoring in order to minimize environmental damages, reassure the public of the Provincial Government’s commitment to protect the environment, and initiate timely corrective measures to minimize environmental damages associated with many industrial mega-projects; and,
• $170,000 to allow for two additional hydrometric stations established for Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Inc. to explore potential alternative energy sources for the expansion to the Voisey’s Bay project, and three additional hydrometric stations established for NL Hydro to explore potential alternative energy sources along coastal Labrador.