Residents in Northern Nova Scotia will have more ways to walk or cycle to key areas in their communities with support from the province's Sustainable Transportation grant program, Connect2. Sustainable transportation is about driving less and moving more. It means providing more mobility options to more people, and greater connectivity between the places we need to go.

Convenient, safe, clean, and attractive modes for sustainable transportation are key to building vibrant, livable, and low-carbon communities that are suitable for aging populations, young people, newcomers, and small businesses.

The Connect2 grant program expands Nova Scotian communities’ options for walking, biking, rolling, shared mobility, and transit while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by funding great projects that create sustainable transportation options and build infrastructure for short-distance sustainable travel. Projects that use new ideas or best practices to connect destinations and decrease dependency on personal vehicles by improving transportation hubs and integrated mobility are eligible for up to 50% funding.

The program considers applications under two categories, Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure and Design and Sustainable Transportation Enabling. This program is open to any type of organization registered under Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies that is seeking progressive and practical solutions to sustainable transportation issues in Nova Scotia. The primary partner must be based in Nova Scotia and ideally will be based in the community or region the project will serve.

Finance Minister Karen Casey, on behalf of Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette, announced recently $83,900 for three projects that support physical mobility options."We know that people are more likely to walk, run or cycle within their communities when the right infrastructure is in place," said Ms. Casey. "These projects will help residents choose healthier transportation options, while reducing carbon emissions for all Nova Scotians."The Springhill Communities in Bloom Committee will receive $50,000 to create a two-kilometre trail. The project will see the development of a safe and accessible walking path around the pit pond property, with connectivity links to key assets around the community. The path will provide significant opportunity for safe physical activity in the county while connecting people with the history of Springhill's mining heritage.The Town of Pictou will receive $28,900 to implement active transportation projects, and the Town of New Glasgow will also receive $5,000 to study the Samson, Pioneer and Johnny Miles Trails.Connect2 aims to create and promote active transportation options for trips of two kilometres or less between community hubs in rural and urban parts of the province. This year, Connect2 will invest more than $600,000 to support 21 projects across the province. All projects will be completed by the end of March 2019. Application deadline has passed for the 2018/19 fiscal year.For more information about Connect2, visit www.novascotia.ca/sustainabletransportation .

Karen Casey, MLA

Colchester North