Government of Canada and FCM support Nanaimo’s study of contaminated former railyard (20/04/2015)
Nanaimo, B.C. — The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and Brad Woodside, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of the City of Fredericton, New Brunswick, today announced a Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF) grant of $175,000 for the City of Nanaimo. The City used the funding to supplement a complex environmental investigation at 1 Port Drive, a City-owned 10.8-hectare brownfield site, also known as the South Downtown Waterfront property.
"Our Government 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 Rickford. "Today's announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with the FCM — is helping communities like the City of Nanaimo build a greener future for our citizens."
"The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments," said Mr. Woodside. "The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund support the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable."
Brownfields are often the legacy of industrial or commercial activity. Like many such properties, Nanaimo's South Downtown Waterfront site is in a prime location adjacent to the downtown core. Nanaimo has hired consultants who have taken soil, sediment, groundwater, and vapour samples to identify the volume and location of contamination. The information is being used to develop remediation options appropriate to the uses proposed for various parts of the site.
Redevelopment of the site to increase public access to the waterfront and create opportunities for mixed residential and commercial uses is a feature of a number of City planning documents. The site has also been envisioned as a multi-modal transportation hub supporting passenger rail, intercity bus, public transit, and a fast ferry connection to Vancouver.
"The City of Nanaimo greatly appreciates the support of FCM for this project. Understanding the contamination on the property is a critical step to unlocking this strategic parcel for redevelopment," said Mmayor Bill McKay. "Going forward this property will become a hallmark for waterfront development and assist in the City's efforts to revitalize the downtown core and its surrounding neighbourhoods."
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.