September 26, 2017 by Infrastructure Canada
On September 21st, Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, convened the second federal, provincial and territorial meeting of ministers responsible for infrastructure. Minister Sohi and Minister Bob Chiarelli, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, co-hosted the meeting.
The ministers began the conversation by sharing some of the initial results from Phase 1 of the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada plan. Budget 2016 announced accelerated federal investments to provide short-term funding for the rehabilitation, repair and modernization of existing infrastructure with three targeted streams of funding: public transit infrastructure, green infrastructure and social infrastructure. By August 2017, Infrastructure Canada had approved over 3,100 projects under two funds: the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.
“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting public infrastructure that contributes to the quality of life of all Canadians now and for future generations. The first phase of the Investing in Canada plan is already at work in our communities—supporting vital repairs to our aging pipes and roads, helping communities improve social housing, and allowing transit organizations to replace or repair their fleet. We have been collaborating with provinces, territories, municipalities and other partners to design a long-term plan that offers them predictable and significant funding because we recognize that each region and every community is faced with unique infrastructure opportunities, challenges, and capacities,” said Sohi.
The meeting focused on sharing lessons learned from Phase 1 and discussions on how to move forward towards signing new bilateral agreements to help support economic, social and environmental outcomes important for our communities, and for Canadians.
The ministers shared their views on future infrastructure investment approaches to better maximize outcomes in their jurisdictions. Ministers also agreed on the importance of flexibility to ensure federal infrastructure funding supports regional/local economic and social priorities. As part of the meeting, representatives of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities provided the municipal perspective on long term infrastructure funding.
“Ontario’s strategic infrastructure investment of $190 billion over 13 years is helping improve the lives of people across Ontario, including creating over 125,000 jobs. We look forward to continued cooperation from the federal government as we work together to build up communities that respond to the needs of those who live in them. It is important to the provinces and territories that our federal partners remain flexible in their funding and support the commitments we’ve made in our existing infrastructure plans. We look forward to further conversations as we create agreements that will benefit all parties and, ultimately, build stronger provinces and territories across Canada,” said Chiarelli.
The ministers had productive discussions and Minister Sohi expressed confidence that the new agreements will be finalized in the coming months.
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada