Ottawa to provide $150 million for community infrastructure fund, $85.6 million for Quebec ports


Over the next two years, the Canadian federal government will spend nearly $12 billion to support provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure through existing initiatives.

However, among the new infrastructure funding proposals in the federal Economic Action Plan 2012 is a Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, which proposes $150 million over two years, to support repairs and improvements to existing small public infrastructure facilities.

The federal government’s Building Canada plan expires in 2014 and the government said it is taking concrete steps to deliver on its commitment to work with provinces, territories, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and other stakeholders on the development of a long-term plan for public infrastructure that extends beyond that time. Consultations are underway with partners and stakeholders.


Keeping with tradition, Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty bought new shoes in advance of the 2012 Canadian budget, announced this afternoon.

The new Fund will be delivered by the regional development agencies and will support projects on a cost-shared basis in partnership with municipalities, community organizations and not-for-profit entities. Projects will be selected on the basis of their readiness to proceed and the anticipated economic benefits, including job creation.

In his budget speech, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty pointed to the government’s historic infrastructure investments during the recession, calling it one of the largest and most effective economic stimulus plans among the G-20 nations.

“As a result, in these difficult years Canada has outperformed most other industrialized countries.” This year’s federal deficit is $24.9 billion, falling to $21.1 billion in 2012-13 and $10.2 billion the year after.

The Economic Action Plan 2012 will support strategic public infrastructure, including those concentrated on moving people and goods throughout the country and internationally.

It proposes $105 million in 2012–13 on a cash basis for VIA Rail Inc to enhance safety and efficiency with investments in track signaling systems, track components, station repairs and information technology projects. In 2010, it served over four million passengers and connected 450 communities across Canada.

The budget also earmarks $27.3 million over two years to support the divestiture of regional port facilities and the continued operation and maintenance of federally owned ports. The government recently announced up to $85.6 million in funding for capital projects and other modernization initiatives at the Ports of Montreal, and in Saguenay and Sept-Iles, Quebec.

The government also proposes $5.2 billion over the next 11 years on a cash basis to renew the Canadian Coast Guard fleet to make it more adaptable, capable and cost-efficient. This will aid in the procurement of new vessels and helicopters.

The Esquimalt Graving Dock, the largest deep-sea shipbuilding and repair facility on Canada’s West Coast, will receive $101 million on a cash basis for restoration and modernization projects. The dock was originally constructed in 1927 and generates economic benefits totaling $183 million annually for British Columbia and it supports an estimated 1,300 jobs in the Greater Victoria Area.

The government continues its commitments to the construction of a new crossing in the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor and to building a new bridge to replace the existing Champlain Bridge over the St. Lawrence River. Investments totalling $380 million since 2009 will keep the bridge safe until the new crossing is complete.

There were amendments to the Yukon Act, the Northwest Territories Act and the Nunavut Act to create new regulations that will ensure consistent treatment of borrowing across the three territories and with their Public Accounts.

The three territorial borrowing limits have been increased to $800 million, $400 million and $400 million respectively for the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Yukon and the Government of Nunavut.