The federal government is making its $180 billion-plus 12-year public infrastructure plan more responsive to the needs of provinces and territories. Infrastructure and Communities Minister François-Philippe Champagne outlined changes Feb. 21 to the integrated bilateral infrastructure funding agreements with each of the 13 provincial and territorial governments.
Simplifying the process by which proposed projects are approved. Such measures include streamlining the application process, launching an online portal for project applications to be submitted more easily and having a dedicated team of officials to shepherd large project proposals through approvals;
Supporting more infrastructure renewal in rural and northern communities. These measures include making available federal funding to cover a portion of the costs associated with planning infrastructure projects in communities with less than 5,000 people;
Increasing broadband access in rural communities. To improve access to high-speed Internet service in these communities, broadband projects undertaken in the provinces with for-profit recipients will qualify for a larger share of federal funding;
Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. To promote a relationship with Indigenous peoples based on a recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, the costs of holding consultations with them about proposed infrastructure projects will be retroactively eligible for federal funding; and
Expanding the types of energy retrofit projects that are eligible for federal funding. To support territorial governments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, proposed projects that are eligible for federally funded energy retrofits will be expanded to include territorial administrative buildings, community administrative buildings and emergency services infrastructure.
Infrastructure Canada is among the 14 federal departments and agencies delivering more than 70 new funding programmes, which are supporting more than 33,500 infrastructure projects across Canada worth a total of almost $20 billion in federal contributions. Of these funded projects, 98 per cent are either underway, or already completed.