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Trudeau releases mandate letter to new Minister of Infrastructure

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December 17, 2019 by Megan Hoegler

Photo: PMO

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has released the mandate letter addressed to Canada’s new Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Catherine McKenna.

The letters, which are released by the Prime Minister to Cabinet ministers at the start of a new term, highlight areas of focus and priority for the next several years.

McKenna, who was sworn in by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette last month, replaced Francois-Philippe Champagne. Prior to serving as minister of Infrastructure, McKenna served as the environment minister for the entirety of Trudeau’s first term.

Coincidentally, the letter focuses on federal investments in social, green and public transit infrastructure.

According to the letter, the minister has also been tasked with implementing the 12-year, approximately $190 billion Investing in Canada Plan, which the federal government has been working on since 2015. Key objectives of the plan are to increase economic growth, create jobs and provide infrastructure that will improve Canadians’ quality of life.

The letter also states that all provinces and territories must have their long-term infrastructure priorities approved some time within the next two years. This will put pressure on slow-moving provinces, as any funds leftover from approved infrastructure projects by the end of 2021 will be reinvested into the federal Gas Tax Fund, which municipalities use to pay for infrastructure.

Another stipulation includes creating a National Infrastructure Fund, to seek out and support major nation-building projects. As a first step, the letter points to supporting the Newfoundland-Labrador fixed transportation link.

The mandate letter lays out a number of other areas the ministry will be expected to focus on in the coming months. Read the full version here.