CALGARY, May 18, 2004 - The Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, today announced that the Government of Canada is investing $175 million for action to help remediate 57 priority contaminated sites across Canada under federal responsibility. This is a prelude to the larger commitment of more than $3.5 billion in long-term funding, announced in Budget 2004, to remediate contaminated sites on federal lands.
Minister Anderson made the announcement at the Harvey Barracks site in Calgary, a former Canadian Forces Base, which is one of 10 urban sites that has been designated high-priority for remediation under the Federal Contaminated Sites Accelerated Action Plan. The Government of Canada is also working with 47 rural and northern communities across Canada to reduce the human health and environmental threats from contaminants.
"As the largest property owner in the country, the Government of Canada has a responsibility to ensure that past contamination of sites under federal responsibility are addressed, and that human health and the environment is protected for all Canadians," said Minister Anderson. "We are demonstrating our commitment to communities across the country by remediating these contaminated sites for the benefit of future generations".
Over the past 10 years, the Government of Canada has spent $72 million, including more than $6 million in 2003-04 allocated under the accelerated program, to remediate the Harvey Barracks in Calgary. With an additional $900,000 this year from the accelerated program the final work will be completed so that the land can be returned to the Tsuu T'ina Nation.
" The remediation of Harvey Barracks is a good example of how federal investment can directly benefit the quality of life of urban residents," said the Honourable David Pratt, Minister of National Defence. "The environmental remediation of the former CFB Calgary has been a success, not only from a remediation perspective, but also because the project has led to the development of new technology and expertise for both the Department of National Defence and the Tsuu T'ina Nation."
Through the accelerated program announced in the 2003 federal budget, between April 2003 and March 2005, 47 priority sites in rural and northern Canada will receive more than $126 million in funding through the accelerated program. This includes the Faro Mine in Yukon, the Colomac Mine in the Northwest Territories, various Distant Early Warning line sites, Resolution Island, the Suffield Canadian Forces base in Alberta and Canadian Forces Base Greenwood in Nova Scotia.
The 2004 federal budget investment of $3.5 billion over 10 years will ensure that the work on these and upwards of 3800 federal contaminated sites contaminated sites will be remediated. It also committed $500 million for shared responsibility sites, such as Sydney Tar Ponds which recently received $280 million from this program.
To ensure the remediation of contaminated sites is carried out in a timely, effective and well-coordinated matter, the Government of Canada will develop a strategic long-term plan and will report on progress to Canadians each year.
For further information on the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory, please visit: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dfrp-rbif/cs-sc/location40.asp?Language=EN.
Enquiries for a specific site should be directed to the Federal Department responsible (as per the attached backgrounder).
To receive automatic e-mail notification of all Environment Canada news releases, media advisories, and statements, please click on this URL to subscribe: http://www.ec.gc.ca/mediaroom/newsrelease/e/subscribe_e.cfm