The federal government has allocated $53.5 billion over the next decade for infrastructure across the country, a move that Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has commended.
In the 2013 budget, the Conservative government set out the amount for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure over the next 10 years. Infrastructure-based funding highlights include:
• $32.2 billion through a Community Improvement Fund consisting of an indexed Gas Tax Fund and the incremental Goods and Services Tax Rebate for Municipalities to build roads, public transit, recreational facilities and other community infrastructure across Canada;
• $14 billion for a new Building Canada Fund to support major economic projects that have a national, regional and local significance;
• $6 billion in federal support to provinces, territories and municipalities under current infrastructure programs in 2014–15 and beyond;
• $7 billion in First Nations infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, energy systems and other priorities; and
• About $10 billion in investments in federal infrastructure assets, including bridges, fishing harbours, ports, military bases and departmental accommodations across the country.
“As severe weather becomes more common in Canada, updated storm and waste water infrastructure is essential for municipalities,” noted Chris White, vice president of federal affairs with IBC. “Because of the devastating human and economic impacts of severe weather, home, car and business insurers have made climate adaptation a top priority. We’re pleased to see the federal government helping fund this vital challenge.”