Prime Minister announces details of historic 10-year infrastructure plan

PRIME Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday released important details on the New Building Canada Plan, including support that will ensure small communities have stable, long-term and unprecedented access to funding for vital infrastructure projects. He was accompanied by Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Paul Calandra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs.

Details released relate to key elements of the New Building Canada Fund, including 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 announced will provide municipalities, provinces and territories with the information they need to plan public infrastructure projects in their jurisdictions.

The New Building Canada Plan, which will provide significant funding in support for infrastructure in Canada over the next 10 years, is expected to launch in spring 2014. The new Plan will support projects that focus on economic growth, job creation and productivity, including building roads, bridges, subways, commuter rail and other public infrastructure that ensures the prosperity of all Canadians.

The program details are the result of the feedback received from provinces, territories and infrastructure partners over the course of 2012 and 2013. The Government says it continues to work with partners and stakeholders on outstanding program details, leading to a full New Building Canada Plan launch in the spring.

It says it is ensuring that taxpayers’ dollars go further under the New Building Canada Plan by cost-sharing infrastructure projects with provinces, territories, municipalities and private partners.

Through the original Building Canada Plan, infrastructure stimulus measures and other infrastructure initiatives, the federal government has supported over 43,000 projects in Canada. Launched in 2007, the original Building Canada plan provided billions in stable, flexible and predictable funding for infrastructure across the country over seven years. The New Plan will build on the success of the original plan.

“World-class infrastructure is the backbone of our country’s economic productivity. It helps to get goods to the market place more efficiently, and connects Canadians and our businesses to the world, generating jobs and growth. It also has the added benefit of reducing commuting times so families can spend more time together,” said Harper.

“Our Government’s commitment to small communities has never been stronger. Under the New Building Canada Plan, we are providing predictable, stable support so that municipalities with fewer than 100,000 residents can build the projects that matter most to them.

“Our Government understands the vital importance of infrastructure and is proud to be implementing the largest long-term infrastructure plan in Canadian history. Since 2006 we have nearly doubled the average annual funding for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure. This new stable, long-term support will provide flexibility so that provinces, territories and municipalities of all sizes from coast to coast to coast have the resources needed to complete priority projects in their region.”