More money for community relocations, changes to municipal funding programs in Budget 2013

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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.

Resettlement

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.  

Safe communities

• $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;

• $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.

Other initiatives

• $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.

Supporting women

• $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.

Environment protection

• $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.

Organizations: Department of Municipal Affairs, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, Regional Co Inuit Women Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Multicultural Women Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador Aboriginal Women Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund Vale Newfoundland and Labrador NL Hydro

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Conception Bay, Mount Pearl Corner Brook Buchans

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Recent comments

  • Permanent Residence Only Please
    March 29, 2013 - 13:54

    What is the criteria to be met for one to receive the $270,000 resettlement money? For example: There are allot of summer only residents on Little Bay Islands ----will they receive the $270,000? The money should only go to permanent residents of Little Bay Islands. People who lived there all their lives. Not to someone who lives there in the summer or just set-up residence this past year or so. WATCH THIS VERY CAREFULLY. These people are already talking about trying to get the $270,000.

  • Increase in Relocation Funding
    March 27, 2013 - 14:55

    "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" Increase by $170,000 per household? Shouldn't this depend on where they choose to relocate? If relocating somewhere else in rural Newfoundland $270,000 is allot of money, is this realistic?. If relocating to St. John's and surrounding area $270,000 is realistic. Watch out for the SUMMER HOME people. Is the government going to give them $270,000 for relocation? What is the criteria that has to be met for this relocation money?

  • bewildered
    March 26, 2013 - 19:39

    $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.?? can anyone explain to me why the provincial government is spending millions of $$ duplicating the work dont by the federal department of fisheries and is the responsibility of the federal government? this $612,000 is in addition to the millions that this group already receives.