Mayor says “we may have to do it ourselves” – funding in jeopardy

Project cost $11.5 million

Provincial grant $5 million

Help from Liberal government in Ottawa: zilch

Report from CFO Doug Leahy to Oliver Town Council on cost of borrowing if the Water Utility borrowed 5.5 million dollars and proceeded in 2020 to complete the Gallagher Lake syphon project (which means redirected the canal water north of Country Pines MHP into a large pipe on the highway and diverting all water around the cliffs.

Rates to all water Utility Users – rural and domestic and water parcel taxes would rise by 10% to fund the payments to the MFA for $5.5 million dollars.

Mayor Martin Johansen, when asked by a ratepayer, at Monday’s meeting said:

a. we have a lot of irons in the fire

b. we have met with everyone interested in hearing our plea

c. application for many millions in disaster relief filed in Ottawa

d. Oliver must confirm conditions of the $5 million grant from BC government

e. Oliver must contemplate  ‘going it alone’  without federal support

f.  If no federal funding approval prior to election (June or July) – the message would be clear


The Town of Oliver has applied to the Federal Government’s Disaster Mitigation & Adaptation Fund for the project cost of $22.3M.

If approved this project will require a maximum $8.38M contribution from the Town of Oliver. The Mayor has recently met with Mr. Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country to ascertain the status of the funding request from the Federal Government. To date there has not been any indication that federal funding will be forthcoming. The Provincial Government has committed $5M towards the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the irrigation canal that was damaged by the rock slide in 2016. This commitment was made by the previous government. Unless an action plan including design and construction is undertaken in short order the likelihood of the $5M commitment remaining in place is in jeopardy.

The project is anticipated to commence in late 2019 and complete in 2023/2024. During 2019-2020 it is projected that the bulk of the construction will take place. The Town can utilize short term financing (Section 181 of Community Charter) from the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) during the construction phase of the contract.


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7 Responses to Mayor says “we may have to do it ourselves” – funding in jeopardy

  1. Pat English says:

    Oliver needs to give consent.

    Federal real property and federal immovables

    10 (1) The Minister has the administration of all federal real property and federal immovables not situated in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut except those under the administration of any other minister, board or agency of the Government of Canada or any corporation.

    Other properties

    (2) The Minister may incur expenditures or perform, or have performed, services or work in relation to

    (a) any federal real property or federal immovable;

    (b) any work or other property belonging to Her Majesty in right of Canada; and

    (c) any real or immovable property, any work or any other property not belonging to Her Majesty in right of Canada, with the consent of its owner.

    Publisher: Not sure what you are getting at – Canal operates on land owned and controlled by the Town of Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band. The federal government is being asked to fund part of the repair bill.

    • Pat English says:

      What i am getting at is the Minister in charge of Department of Public Works and Government Services Act may, which is interpreted by the courts as imperative, pay for the Canal.

      real property means land in any province other than Quebec, and land outside Canada, including mines and minerals, and buildings, structures, improvements and other fixtures on, above or below the surface of the land, and includes an interest therein. 

      The Act clearly states the Minister is supposed to incur the costs if Oliver consents. So Oliver needs to provide the Minister that consent and get the Canal project done.

      Publisher: You might want to contact Cathy Cowan CAO Town of Oliver with your legal opinion. Then the town can ask their lawyers to comment. Never head of such consent to fix anything.

  2. Bill Eggert says:

    If you find a way to blame it on Climate Change the money will pour in….

  3. Ed Machial says:

    They can add the money for the fire chief’s rig to the repair fund, a better use of the money anyway. The chief (like the last chief) should use his own vehicle to do his shopping in Penticton rather than the duty truck!

  4. Dorothy Taylor says:

    This is not a federal liberal area so why should we get money from Ottawa!!!
    They help those who vote for them!!!
    They have money for parks but not for fixing badly needed repairs to our water system!!!

    • Dave Whalley says:

      It doesnt matter which government is in power, it is the same story, we never got funding from the Harper government either

  5. David Sabyan says:

    Too bad the $4.0 million that was spent by Parks Canada for the feasibility study was not invested in the local community.

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