Fund builds on Canada’s infrastructure

World-class infrastructure is the backbone of our country’s economic productivity.

World-class infrastructure is the backbone of our country’s economic productivity.

On Feb. 13, our government announced a $53 billion New Building Canada Plan (NBCP). This Plan will provide significant funding in support for infrastructure in Canada over the next 10 years.

It includes dedicated funding for small communities, provincial-territorial allocations, project categories eligible for support, cost-sharing thresholds, and public-private partnership (P3) screening requirements. The new plan details will provide municipalities, provinces and territories with the information they need to plan public infrastructure projects in their jurisdictions. Over $32 billion is specifically available for municipalities through the permanent and indexed Gas Tax Fund (GTF), and the incremental Goods and Services Tax Rebate for municipalities.

For British Columbia, this represents almost $3.9 billion in dedicated federal funding, including almost $1.1 billion under the NBCP and an estimated $2.76 billion under the federal GTF. Our province also stands to benefit from:

• $4 billion available for projects of national significance

• $1.25 billion in additional funding available for P3 projects

• $10.4 billion via the GST rebate, which provides Canadian municipalities with additional resources to address their infrastructure priorities.

The Small Communities Fund, under the NBCP, will provide $1 billion in funding to municipalities with fewer than 100,000 residents to build the projects that matter most to them. This is in addition to the almost $22 billion that all municipalities will receive through the permanent and indexed federal GTF over the next decade.

As of April 1, communities can use the renewed federal GTF towards a wider range of projects, such as highways, local and regional airports, short-line rail, short-sea shipping, disaster mitigation, broadband, brownfield redevelopment, recreation, culture, tourism and sport.

Unlike Building Canada Fund 2007, we will not require framework agreements with provinces and territories, which should avoid lengthy negotiations and delays in the implementation of the New Building Canada Fund.

Your government understands the vital importance of infrastructure and is proud to be implementing the largest long-term infrastructure plan in Canadian history.  The New Building Canada Plan will continue to support infrastructure projects that foster economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity.

This is good news for further upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway!

Colin Mayes, MP – Okanagan-Shuswap