July 5, 2016

Left to right: David Kim, CAO, City of Cranbrook; Ron Popoff, Councillor, City of Cranbrook; Wes Graham, Councillor, City of Cranbrook; Rob Gay, RDEK Board Chair and Area C Director; Wendy Booth, UBCM 2nd Vice-President and RDEK Area F Director; Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay-East; Lee Pratt, Mayor, City of Cranbrook; Tom Shypitka, Councillor, City of Cranbrook; and Norma Blissett, Councillor, City of Cranbrook.

July 5, 2016 Cranbrook, British Columbia - Enjoying Canada’s vast green spaces and parks is a favourite pastime for Canadian families as a way to meet with relatives and neighbours, appreciate nature and share some quiet time.

Residents and visitors to the City of Cranbrook area will soon be able to enjoy the restored and enhanced Idlewild Lake and park areas thanks to a project that will rehabilitate the Idlewild Dam. The work is being completed thanks to $2.8 million provided through the federal Gas Tax Fund.

The project is about to break ground and will take approximately three years to complete. It will include the rehabilitation of the dam and spillway, along with recreational and shoreline improvements to the park.A Parks Master Plan is also being created to formalize the upgrades to the recreational features of the park. This plan will take into consideration input from a 2015 Idlewild Park community survey that received over 1000 public responses.

The Government of Canada provides more than $266 million in indexed annual funding for municipal infrastructure in British Columbia through the federal Gas Tax Fund. The majority of this funding is allocated to municipalities who decide which projects will address their local priorities. They can spend, pool, bank or use their annual allocation to finance loans related to eligible infrastructure or capacity building projects. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in partnership with Canada and British Columbia.


“Through the federal Gas Tax Fund, the Government of Canada is allowing communities in British Columbia, and across Canada, to make informed decisions about their infrastructure investments and how best to spend federal dollars. The Idlewild Dam rehabilitation project will better protect the local environment and will open up improved recreational opportunities in an area that has been cherished by residents for so many years.”

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi,
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Idlewild is one of my family’s favourite relaxation spots in Cranbrook. When the dam holding back our beautiful trout pond was deemed unsafe, I promised Mayor Pratt that I would do all I could to help find the funds to restore the dam and the pond. I am grateful to UBCM and the federal government for their support.”

Bill Bennett,
MLA Kootenay East

“The City of Cranbrook is very appreciative of this funding provided from the federal Gas Tax fund. I would especially like to thank the City and UBCM staff who put a lot of time and effort into the preparation of the funding request. Thank you to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett and to the Union of BC Municipalities.  Once the dam is rebuilt and the surrounding park improved, it will provide residents with many years of enjoyment and various activities.”

Lee Pratt,
Mayor, City of Cranbrook

“Dam replacement is a priority for many communities in British Columbia. I am pleased to see the support provided by the Federal Gas Tax Fund for this project will rehabilitate Idlewild Park.”

Al Richmond,
UBCM President

Associated Links

Investing in Canada, the Government of Canada’s new $120 billion infrastructure plan: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/index-eng.html.

Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map-carte/bc-eng.html.

Federal Gas Tax Fund: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/gtf-fte-eng.html.

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