OTTAWA — Federal, provincial and territorial insfrastructure ministers gathered in Ottawa on Sept. 21 with federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amerjeet Sohi announcing afterwards that “productive discussions” had taken place on the next phase of infrastructure spending.
Sohi and Bob Chiarelli, Ontario's minister of infrastructure, co-hosted the meeting, noted a media release.
The meeting included a discussion of phase one of the Government of Canada's Investing in Canada plan, the release stated. 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 release reported discussions on next steps toward signing new bilateral agreements between the levels of government.
As part of the meeting, representatives from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities participated in discussions on long-term infrastructure funding.
The release summed up federal plans to spend $180 billion over 12 years with sectors targeted as follows:
• $25.3 billion of the funding will support public transit projects, including $5 billion that will be available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
• $21.9 billion will be allocated to green infrastructure projects, including $5 billion that will be available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
• $21.9 billion will support social infrastructure in Canadian communities.
• $10.1 billion will be spent on trade and transportation projects, including $5 billion that will be available investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
• $2 billion will be allocated to infrastructure projects targeted to rural and northern communities including facilities to support food security, local access roads and enhanced broadband connectivity. In addition, the $400 million Arctic Energy Fund will be delivered under this stream.
• $4 billion will support infrastructure projects in indigenous communities.
The discussions represented a follow-up to letters Sohi sent to the provinces and territories in July soliciting input on the next phases of infrastructure funding, the statement indicated.
Bilateral discussions will continue on the framework for future funding, with bilateral agreements anticipated to be signed by the end of March 2018, and initial projects being approved in time for the next construction season, said the statement.