Government of Canada and FCM support the City of New Westminster’s Pier Park project: From Brownfield to Greenfields (17/03/2014)
Left to right: New Westminster Councillors Jaimie McEvoy and Lorrie Williams; Vancouver City Councillor and FCM Second Vice-President Raymond Louie; Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, the Honourable James Moore; New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright; New Westminster Councillors Chuck Puchmayr, Betty McIntosh, Bill Harper and Jonathan Cote
New Westminster, BC — The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, and Raymond Louie, a member of Vancouver City Council and Second Vice-President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, today announced a Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF) loan for the city of New Westminster. The city put the $2,000,000 in funding toward the Westminster Pier Park project, an initiative to remediate a 3.8-hectare former industrial site and transform it into an urban riverfront park.
"The Government of Canada is helping municipalities across the country to achieve their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for their citizens through the Green Municipal Fund," said Minister James Moore. "Today's announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with the FCM — is helping communities like New Westminster build a stronger community for all of its residents."
Purchased by the city of New Westminster in 2009, Westminster Pier served as an industrial site from the 1800s to 1992. Its rehabilitation represents a major step forward in efforts to revitalize the area and create additional green spaces. New Westminster has significantly fewer urban green spaces compared to the provincial average for municipalities of similar size. Demand for such urban amenities will be compounded by population growth, which is expected to rise from 64,000 in 2008 to 80,000 in 2021.
"The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments," said Vice-President Louie. "The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund supports the development of communities, like New Westminster, that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable."
In just three years, Westminster Pier Park has been transformed into a sparkling waterfront jewel that stimulates tourism while rejuvenating downtown New Westminster. Featuring a boardwalk and parkland, the site provides a strategic location for major community events. Highlights of the project include: 4,000 square metres of intertidal riparian foreshore reclaimed; approximately 3,600 tonnes of contaminated soil removed and remediated; approximately 1,800 tonnes of GHG emissions avoided annually if alternative land uses were developed; and a forecast positive local economic impact estimated at $70 million.
"We're pleased that the federal government and FCM are investing in creating sustainable greenspaces for communities," said New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright. "Westminster Pier Park is a wonderful example of how underutilized spaces in cities can be revitalized for the benefit of everyone."
This project is an exciting example of how funding from GMF can be combined with funding from other programs - in this case, the Building Canada Fund (federal and provincial) as well as the BC Brownfield Renewal Fund. Remarkably, the merits of Westminster Pier project have been recognized through seven distinguished awards, including FCM's 2012 Sustainable Community Award for Brownfields.
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.