Statement from Mayor Helps on $400 Million Federal Fund

Today Mayor Lisa Helps released the following statement on the $400 million federal fund for active transportation including pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges:

“I want to express my thanks to Minister McKenna and the federal government for creating this fund. In a recent talk at the Vancouver Board of Trade, Minister McKenna said that every federal dollar is going to need to do triple duty: grow economies, tackle climate change and reduce inequality. The $400 million fund for cycle paths and trails will do just that; we look forward to putting some of this money to work in Victoria.

“Since 2016, Victoria has been building a 32-kilometre all ages and abilities cycling network with a ‘complete streets’ approach. This means that along each cycling corridor we are also making improvements to enhance the experience for people walking. And we’re including other work wherever we can, such as upgrades to underground infrastructure and adding features like benches and trees for cost effectiveness and improving neighbourhood liveability.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, cities around the world made investments to provide safer walking and cycling infrastructure. These efforts helped keep people moving by responding to the crisis. Now, more than ever, our streets and public spaces can help to remove barriers for people with disabilities and provide more comfortable places for residents and visitors to safely walk, ride and roll.

“Here in Victoria we have seen how our active transportation investments have supported women, children, seniors and shift workers. Our investments have helped to create jobs, stimulated new business ventures, reduced household transportation costs, and made our streets more comfortable and attractive for the tens of thousands of people who walk and cycle each day.

“We are also pleased to see the launch of stakeholder engagement for Canada’s first Active Transportation Strategy. We look forward to participating in the process and to sharing our experiences. The federal government continues to show leadership on active transportation policy and infrastructure; we know our communities will be stronger, healthier and more resilient because of that leadership.”