Minister Lebel Addresses Federation of Canadian Municipalities on Canada's Investments in Infrastructure

Marketwired

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov 23, 2012) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Canada''s Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, addressed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities'' Board of Directors meeting today. He reaffirmed the Harper Government''s commitment to deliver a new long-term plan for public infrastructure, and emphasised that the plan will be affordable.

"Our new plan will be realistic," Minister Lebel said. "It will balance the need for strong, sustained investment with our government''s ongoing work to cut taxes, balance the budget, reduce the deficit and maintain fiscal responsibility."

Over the course of the summer, Minister Lebel and the Honourable Steven Fletcher held a series of in-depth discussions on the future direction and principles for a plan that will extend beyond the expiry of the Building Canada plan in 2014. Close to 200 representatives from provinces, territories, municipalities and key stakeholders were engaged in this series of roundtables to guide the development of the new plan.

"Our government is working in partnership to develop a new long-term infrastructure plan that meets the needs of Canadian communities while ensuring affordability and respecting taxpayers'' ability to pay," said Minister Lebel. "The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has provided great input into these discussions, and we are considering their submissions along with those already received from other partners and stakeholders across Canada, as we continue to develop our plan." 

The Harper Government has made record levels of investments in infrastructure since 2006, and the new long-term infrastructure plan will build on these accomplishments.

The seven-year, $33-billion Building Canada plan, introduced in Budget 2007, was Canada''s first-ever long-term infrastructure plan. The new long-term plan will provide new opportunities for all orders of government to work together to improve public infrastructure in Canada.

As the plan is being developed, public infrastructure will still be supported through the Building Canada plan, including the Gas Tax Fund, which provides stable, predictable, up-front funding to all municipalities and counties in all regions of the country. Transfers from this fund have been doubled and in December 2011, legislation made the Gas Tax Fund a permanent annual investment of $2 billion per year.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca.

For further information about Canada''s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

Infrastructure Canada Programs

Infrastructure Canada delivers a broad range of infrastructure programs, providing flexible and effective funding support to provincial, territorial, municipal, private sector and not-for-profit infrastructure projects.

Through the Government of Canada''s Economic Action Plan, Infrastructure Canada has supported about 6,400 projects.

The seven-year, $33 billion Building Canada plan will continue to run to 2014. As part of the Building Canada plan, Infrastructure Canada is contributing to projects through both the Building Canada Fund and the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund, which will continue to create jobs and result in long-term benefits for Canadians.

Over the course of the summer, the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), held a series of in-depth discussions on the future direction and principles for a plan that will extend beyond the expiry of the Building Canada plan in 2014. Close to 200 representatives from provinces, territories, municipalities and key stakeholders were engaged in this series of roundtables to guide the development of the new plan.

As part of the Building Canada plan, the Gas Tax Fund continues to deliver $2 billion per year. These investments provide predictable, long-term funding for municipal infrastructure that contributes to cleaner air, cleaner water and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The Government of Canada will provide $2 billion per year permanently beyond 2014.

Key infrastructure funding from Infrastructure Canada:

The Gas Tax Fund ($2B annually)

Through the Gas Tax Fund, municipalities across Canada benefit from $2 billion a year for local priorities. The program provides predictable, yearly funding with considerable flexibility: these funds do not have to be matched, they can be banked for future years, and they do not require upfront application processes for individual projects. In 2008, the government announced that the Gas Tax Fund would become a permanent measure, providing $2 billion per year in predictable and long-term infrastructure funding to Canada''s cities and towns.

The Provincial-Territorial Base Fund ($2.3B)

Through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund (PT Base Fund), provinces and territories receive predictable, stable, flexible funding. This funding, which runs to 2013-14, is provided through a streamlined federal approval process and affords provinces and territories with considerable flexibility. When the fund was established in 2007-08, jurisdictions were to receive $25 million each year over seven years (total $175 million). Under the Economic Action Plan, jurisdictions were given the additional flexibility of accelerated access to this funding, in support of the economic recovery.

In recognition of the small population of the three northern territories, the Building Canada Fund allocation in the territories was combined with their PT Base Fund allocations. The combined funding is delivered under the terms and conditions of the PT Base Fund. The resulting PT Base funding envelope is $185.8 million, $182.6 million and $182.9 million in each of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

The Building Canada Fund ($9.3B including Top-Up)

The Building Canada Fund addresses national and regional priorities, as well as community initiatives, through a dual approach. The Major Infrastructure Component of the fund focuses on larger, strategic projects of national and regional significance that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits. The Communities Component prioritizes local initiatives through funding set aside for projects in communities with populations of less than 100,000 (2008-09 to 2016-17).

The Green Infrastructure Fund ($1B)

Through Canada''s Economic Action Plan, the federal government established the Green Infrastructure Fund.

This five-year program (2009-10 to 2013-14) specifically targets projects that will improve the quality of the environment and lead to a more sustainable economy over the long term. The Green Infrastructure Fund supports projects that promote cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner water. 

The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund ($4B)

Through Canada''s Economic Action Plan, the federal government established a multi-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund that provided funding to provincial, territorial, municipal and community construction-ready infrastructure projects. The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund complemented existing federal infrastructure funding by focusing on short-term objectives for economic stimulus (2008-09 to 2011-12).

Contact:
Genevieve Sicard
Office of the Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

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