Flaherty Showcases NTC Recreational Trails in Budget Speech
Ottawa, Ontario -- Leaders of the National Trails Coalition (NTC) were pleased to learn in today’s federal budget that its nation-wide trail infrastructure program aimed at improving and expanding recreational trails as well as creating jobs for Canadians, will receive $10 million over two years as part of Economic Action Plan 2014.
“We are pleased with the renewed partnership between the Government of Canada and the country’s leading trail organizations”, stated Jo-Anne Farquhar, President of the NTC Board of Directors. “These funds matched with money raised from our members and partners across Canada will allow the NTC to continue expanding and maintaining the trail infrastructure foundation that so many communities rely on for safe recreational opportunities and economic growth.”
This investment builds on the 2009/2010 federal government injection of $25 million into Canada’s trails sector which climbed to over $56 million in economic activity and job creation when matched with partner dollars. Post-program analysis demonstrated that close to 500 projects were completed; 4,701 employment opportunities were created; and 20,128 kilometres of trail were built, upgraded or rehabilitated.
“This government understands the critical importance that trails and trail-based activities play in promoting active lifestyles and enjoyment of the outdoors by Canadians coast-to-coast-to-coast,” said John Cushing, President of the Canadian Trails Federation (CTF). “Through this investment it also recognizes the hard work and perseverance of those who build and maintain trails for others to enjoy.”
The National Trails Coalition was formed in 2007 bringing together for the first time under one organization leaders representing all trail-based activities in a collaborative manner to build, refurbish and promote trails and trail use across Canada.
“Having both motorized and non-motorized trail advocates working closely together has brought trail management in Canada to a whole new level,” suggested Steven McLelan, President of the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO). “When our federal government wants results it knows it has a trusted partner to put taxpayer dollars to work effectively.”
The two-year funding program starting in 2014 will be used to improve and expand both motorized and non-motorized trails throughout the country. Eligible projects may include the construction of new trails; the upgrade, improvement and rehabilitation of existing trails; bridge and water crossings; and projects to make trails safer. Project criteria will be announced shortly.
“We welcome the continued partnership offered by the Minister of Finance in his budget,” said Bob Ramsay, President of the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV). “This funding allows the NTC and its partners to create an even better recreational trail product that promotes healthy outdoor lifestyle choices for both Canadians and visitors from abroad.”
Through its broad membership base, the NTC represents virtually all forms of trail-based activity and interests in a cooperative and mutually beneficial manner. To learn more about the NTC and how to apply for funding when program criteria is available, please visit the www.ntc-canada.ca website. To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.