Summative Evaluation Report: ICP Final Report 2010-10-26 - Findings - Success

5.0 Findings – Success

5.1 Extent to which the ICP led to increased investment in new and/or enhanced infrastructure in Canadian communities, and improved federal/provincial/territorial/municipal capacity to invest in priority physical infrastructure needs

This first sub-question was examined from two perspectives: the extent to which the program led to increased investment in infrastructure in Canadian communities and, given the original program design on rural targets and consequent data collection strategy, the particular impact on incremental rural infrastructure.

Impact on Canadian Infrastructure Investments

SIMSI is an on-line information management tool that enables the management of most Infrastructure Canada programs. Evolving over time, SIMSI permits municipalities to apply on-line for project funding, monitor project status and provide claim information throughout the life of a project. It allows INFC, federal delivery partners, provinces and territories to access funding applications, track and report project approvals, complete and track benefits, financial commitments and expenditures.

According to a SIMSI report dated January 31, 2010, a total of 3,780 projects have been approved across all regions covered by this evaluation and federal contributions have reached $1,959.5 billion. Total eligible investments under the program have reached $7.226 billion, well in excess of the original goal of the program to generate $6 billion in infrastructure investments. The distribution of funded projects by source is presented in Table 1. The data show that the federal contribution exceeded the federal share of approved costs of one-third of the total value of projects in two territories (Yukon and Nunavut)1 and only marginally in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. On the other hand, the provincial or territorial contributions also exceeded their share of approved costs of one-third of the total value of projects in three jurisdictions (Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories and Yukon) whereas it was below one-third in most other jurisdictions. Finally, the municipal contribution (which includes private contributions which form part of the municipal proportion) greatly exceeded the municipal share of approved costs of one-third in all jurisdictions except Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Yukon.

Table 1: Value of Funded Projects by Source and Province / Territory
(Source: SIMSI data as of January 31, 2010)

Province / Territory # of Projects Total Project $ Distribution of Total Project $
ICP Provincial / Territorial % Municipal
Newfoundland and Labrador 377 $158,295,047 33.70% 48.10% 18.20%
Prince Edward Island 82 $56,103,353 28.33% 28.33% 43.44%
Nova Scotia 146 $217,205,717 31.60% 30.20% 38.20%
New Brunswick 94 $161,811,712 33.60% 34.20% 32.20%
Quebec 895 $1,711,712,648 31.46% 31.86% 36.78%
Ontario 533 $2,715,215,711 29.23% 27.13% 43.64%
Manitoba 174 $325,992,841 20.10% 19.80% 60.10%
Saskatchewan 366 $250,419,144 23.16% 23.16% 53.68%
Alberta 777 $600,170,684 30.03% 30.03% 39.94%
British Columbia 310 $1,003,897,852 26.60% 26.40% 47.00%
Yukon 9 $5,864,373 42.40% 42.30% 15.30%
Northwest Territories 12 $13,643,768 22.30% 33.80% 43.90%
Nunavut 5 $5,803,000 36.70% 0.00% 63.30%
ICP Total 3780 $7,226,135,850      
First Nations 97 $94,232,571      
ICP Grand Total 3,877 $7,320,368,421      

Almost 60% of surveyed recipients indicated that their projects could not have proceeded without ICP funding2. Survey results also show that at least some of the municipalities increased their capital expenditure budgets due, at least in part, to the ICP. Municipal interviewees confirmed that the ICP accelerated the rate of investment in their community infrastructure. In urban communities, which usually have adequate tax bases and sufficient financial capacity to take on the projects without other sources of funds, the ICP allowed projects to start sooner than anticipated. In smaller municipalities, which usually lack large tax bases and sufficient financial capacity, the ICP funding supported projects that would not have been possible for the municipality to fund alone.

The case studies examined specific communities receiving ICP funding. All case studies confirmed that the program led to incremental investments in new and/or enhanced infrastructure (see Annex F).

Impact on Rural Infrastructure Investments

The expenditure targets set for rural municipalities were met or exceeded in twelve of the thirteen jurisdictions. Table 2 provides an overview of the nature of infrastructure projects in rural communities according to the number of projects and their financial value. The table shows that about one-third (33%) of the rural projects involved new construction, with the balance involving enhanced infrastructure (expansion or renewal). Financially, 43% of the funding for rural projects involved new construction, indicating that the new construction projects were, not surprisingly, more expensive than enhanced infrastructure projects.

Table 2: Number of Projects and ICP $ Allocation to all participating Canadian Rural Communities
by Nature of Project
(Based on projects approved between May 2000 and January 31, 2010)

Nature of Projects Project Distribution ICP $ Allocation
# of Project % Distribution of Projects ICP $ % Distribution of ICP $
New Construction 929 33.19% $352,481,216 43.03%
Expansion 313 11.18% $93,328,602 11.39%
Renewal 1,557 55.63% $373,260,559 45.57%
Total 2,799 100.0% $819,070,377 100.0%

Overall, municipalities were very appreciative of the increased support from the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Interviewees reported that some municipalities' share of funding exceeded the one-third share owing to time delays that resulted in cost escalations (e.g., inflation, bridge financing and upfront costs that were ineligible). Some municipalities had to struggle in order to obtain the loans necessary to cover their one-third financing requirements in order to qualify for the program. Some municipalities indicated that the ICP and other infrastructure programs have helped to place infrastructure on the municipal agenda. As a result, councils are better able to make a case for using property taxes to protect municipal assets.

The ICP provided some flexibility in using improved capacity to address priority needs, as evidenced by variations in the criteria for selecting projects across the different jurisdictions. For example, in Alberta the project selection approach included three pockets of funds: green municipal infrastructure, entitlement and nomination. The green municipal infrastructure component allowed for environmental projects that met federal requirements and priorities, while the nomination allowed for a balance between federal and provincial perspectives. In all cases, the entitlement approach allowed municipalities to determine their priorities and apply for projects that best responded to their infrastructure needs. These projects would still have to be approved as any other projects. Other provinces made a deliberate choice to focus on water and sewers as their top priority. This targeted approach made a significant difference in addressing federal/provincial/territorial/municipal shared objectives for health, safety and the environment.

Based on the survey results, the priority infrastructure needs of communities are road infrastructure (57% of recipients, 67% of rejected applicants and 56% of withdrawn applicants). These communities indicated that the ICP was able to address their needs to a fair extent as discussed in Annex F; case studies also provided specific examples of priority needs met by the program. For example, in Mayo, Yukon, the program provided funding to repair a cracked main sewer line that had been causing problems for some time, including backup of sanitary sewage into homeowners' basements.

5.2 Extent to which the ICP led to an improved level of common understanding of community infrastructure needs by partners

Except for Quebec, the ICP approach required that the three levels of government work together in selecting and reporting on projects that meet infrastructure needs. In Quebec, the FDP participated in the reporting but not in the selection process. Some interviewees representing Federal Delivery Partners, Management Committee and Joint Secretariat noted that there was already an acceptance of the federal government role in infrastructure prior to ICP. However, the ICP helped establish more effective collaboration amongst the delivery partners with respect to infrastructure needs. In order to facilitate the selection process, the ICP also required the federal and provincial governments to establish funding priorities. FDPs were able to adjust selection criteria and funding allocations to meet regional needs, thus demonstrating a greater appreciation for community infrastructure needs by the various levels of government.

As part of the application process, municipalities submitted funding applications. Where a municipality was making more than one request, it was asked to identify the relative priority of each project within its jurisdiction. This allowed the other levels of government to see what importance municipalities were placing on different types of projects. Local government involvement in the ICP is discussed further on, in Annex G.

Interviewees (INFC, FDPs, MC, and JS representatives) noted that each infrastructure program has built on the successes and lessons learned from the previous programs. Some of the lessons learned from the ICP were applied to programs such as the MRIF. Subsequent programs are generally more targeted by size in order to level the playing field for smaller municipalities. However, INFC is playing a larger role in determining uniform eligibility requirements and selecting projects with the newer infrastructure programs targeting larger projects like the Green Infrastructure Fund. Not all players see this as an improvement. FDPs, MCs, as well as some other partners felt that local and regional involvement is essential to meeting the needs of the communities, and were not comfortable with the shared role of municipal, provincial and FDP representatives in the discussion of the funding priorities and the project selection process for more recent initiatives.

5.3 Extent to which results information on ICP projects were used in subsequent decision-making and reporting, and changes required

In the early stage of the ICP, a common information management system (SIMSI) was designed to support the work of the Management Committees (MC), Joint Secretariat (JS), INFC and FDPs in delivering the program. The intent was to have a common Internet-based database enabling rapid monitoring and reporting, and enhancing audit and evaluation capacity while supporting the due diligence regime.

It took the most part of the first two years of the program to implement SIMSI. Although identified by most as an excellent information management system, users (INFC, FDPs, provinces and territories) have been slow in using all the capacity of the system. As stated in the mid-term evaluation report, data was not consistently entered into the SIMSI system across jurisdictions, resulting in questions about the validity and reliability of reporting and monitoring activities at the national level. Despite this finding, the assumption that SIMSI would support program tracking, monitoring and reporting activities was maintained by INFC.

During the process of the final evaluation of the program, interviewees (FDP, MC and JS representatives) noted that the information management system did not work well enough to be used as a monitoring and follow-up system given issues related to the program data validity and reliability. Better education of all users on what constitutes reliable performance data is required. As a consequence, most provinces had their own system or database to monitor project implementation and actually used SIMSI only for reporting purposes. Even then, there was no consensus and no uniform use of indicators in reporting. Some provinces reported only one benefit per project while others reported multiple project benefits. There were also problems in rolling up benefits and producing detailed national reports. The reports were often made on the basis of expected results rather than results actually achieved because there has been no requirement to update results once projects have closed. SIMSI reports were used more as 'oversight' rather than as 'management' instruments.

Infrastructure Canada interviewees also reported that there were challenges in keeping track of the volume of data and getting actual results on projects. It was felt that limited resources for follow-up and monitoring may have compounded the problem. Financial data with respect to how much money was spent by municipality and category were more easily tracked than information on results and benefits.

Examples of issues of concern in the SIMSI data include the following:

  • target benefit information (e.g. actual results achieved) was not available for all approved projects;
  • actual benefit information was not available for all completed or closed projects; and,
  • some information on approved, completed or closed projects was not available in the database but was available on the website (and vice versa)3.

These findings echo a recent INFC audit of SIMSI which concluded that controls were not in place to monitor and measure performance with respect to business needs. Controls were in place but weak in areas such as governance and accountability structures, strategic and operational planning and data quality control.4 According to this report "accountabilities of stakeholders, including data quality, business and IT controls, were not clearly defined and communicated. Partners, regions, provinces/territories were unclear about their roles and responsibilities with respect to SIMSI."

Moreover, this audit report found that "there was little motivation for SIMSI users to update SIMSI beyond the project approval stage, once funds were authorized. Users were never required to keep SIMSI up to date, resulting in timeliness and / or completeness issues in the data…There was the risk that INFC may not be able to report complete, accurate programs results in a timely manner." According to the Governance and Accountability Framework for the ICP, it was the responsibility of the federal/provincial/territorial co-chairs of MC to ensure SIMSI was kept to date.Further improvements to SIMSI, specifically the inclusion of actual (as opposed to expected) results, are needed to adequately monitor and report on the performance of the program and subsequent federal infrastructure initiatives.

5.4 Extent to which the ICP contributed to a common awareness and acceptance by partners of the federal role in infrastructure

The overall design of the ICP contributed to a common awareness and acceptance by partners of the federal role in infrastructure by virtue of the horizontal nature of the initiative and involvement in MCs of local municipalities within most jurisdictions. The federal role in infrastructure within the context of the ICP is outlined in Annex A. A case study of local government involvement in MCs and Review Committees is attached as Annex E.

Several interviewees (INFC, Management Committee, Joint Secretariat and other partners) referred to the ICP as a 'flagship' program in that it laid the groundwork for future federal infrastructure programs. For example, it set out communication protocols and established the joint governance approach (federal-provinces). The working relationship between federal and provincial partners at local level was collaborative, in part because the FDPs had local knowledge and were familiar with their provincial counterparts given they may have dealt with each other prior to the ICP and that relationships of trust and mutual understanding have evolved over time.

The creation of Joint/Virtual Secretariats (with federal and provincial staff) is seen as an innovative solution for supporting MCs, facilitating the resolution of emerging issues and ensuring strong communications with all delivery partners. The involvement of local government in Management Committee meetings generated a greater sense of partnership and ensured that project selection met community needs and priorities. This was part of a risk management strategy to improve communications with municipalities, increase understanding of the project selection decisions and minimize criticism for rejected projects.

5.5 Extent to which Canadians are provided with better drinking water, air quality and water management, and benefit from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved solid waste management

An examination of SIMSI data, survey results and case studies illustrates that in participating communities, the program contributed to providing Canadians with better drinking water and to improving air quality and water management, and had led to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved solid waste management in these communities. For example, the extension to the Carrot Valley water distribution system in Kelsey, Manitoba provided potable water for 145 rural households and farms. These residences had previously relied on well water that was unsuitable for drinking, forcing many to drink bottled water or bring drinking water in from outside the area.

The information collected through SIMSI cannot be used to measure the impact of the program against intermediate outcomes, such as better drinking water and air quality, for two reasons. First, as noted in Section 5.3, actual results information for completed or closed projects was not always collected. Second, there is no baseline information against which to assess progress toward stated outcomes. This being noted, the following unverified data found in SIMSI show that the program contributed to stated outcomes in the following ways:

  • Improved water qualitySIMSI data show that Canadians in participating communities benefited from improved water quality, as evidenced by the following project results:

    • More than 600,000 households in 411 communities have improved potable water quality;
    • Increase in the output of potable water of 433 billion cubic metres in 39 communities; and,
    • More than 12,000 households in 80 communities were connected to municipal water service.
  • Improved air qualitySIMSI data show that Canadians in participating communities benefited from improved air quality, as evidenced by the following project results:

    • Decrease in emissions and pollutants of close to 20,000 metric tonnes per year as a result of five projects;
    • Increase in public transit ridership of 44,000 persons per year as a result of only two projects;
    • Decrease of 250 kilometres per year driven by single occupancy vehicles as a result of only one project; and,
    • Decrease in municipal waste incineration of close to 20,000 metric tonnes per year in five communities.
  • Improved water and waste water managementSIMSI data show that Canadians in participating communities benefited from improved water and wastewater management, as evidenced by the following project results:

    • Close to 100,000 households equipped with residential metering in 29 communities;
    • More than 300 households served by zone meters, installed and used to measure water distribution and demand patterns in two communities;
    • Decrease in unaccounted-for-water use of 15 billion cubic metres (m3) per year in six communities;
    • Decrease in water lost through leakage or wasted through inefficient treatment plant operations of more than 10 billion m3 per year in 14 communities;
    • Decrease in the infiltration in the wastewater collection system of close to two trillion m3 per year in 16 communities;
    • Decrease in treatment chemicals used in water or wastewater treatment processes of 5.8 metric tonnes per year in a total of six communities;
    • Waste water from more than 200,000 households is treated to a higher quality in close to 200 communities;
    • Increase in the capacity of 28 communities to treat waste water close to 1.4 trillion m3 per year; and,
    • Close to 25,000 households in 161 communities connected to municipal wastewater collection and treatment systems.
  • Improved solid waste managementSIMSI data show that Canadians in participating communities benefited from improved solid waste management, as evidenced by the following project results:

    • Decrease of close to two billion m3 per year in the volume of municipal solid waste produced in eight communities;
    • Increase of close to 37 billion m3 per year in solid waste diverted through recycling and composting in 15 communities; and,
    • Decrease of more than three billion m3 per year in methane gas emissions as a result of three projects.
  • More efficient energy useSIMSI data show that the ICP contributed to more efficient energy use in participating communities, as evidenced by the following project results:

    • Decrease in heating fuel used by municipal buildings totalling more than 450,000 BTU equivalents per m3 per year in 33 communities; and,
    • Decrease in electricity used by municipal buildings and facilities of more than 4 million kw/h per m3 per year in 24 communities.

Table 3 summarizes the benefits reported by surveyed recipients. The table illustrates that the ICP contributed in participating communities to the treatment and distribution of potable water, collection and treatment of wastewater, treatment of solid waste, and this helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improved solid waste management in these communities. The program's logic model is therefore supported by the survey results and SIMSI data highlighted in the previous paragraphs. The logic model is provided in Annex B of this report.

Table 3: Benefits as Reported by Surveyed Recipients

Benefit %
# of
Actual Total
Improved Water Quality Projects
Increase in the number of households connected to municipal water service 39% 80 8,487
Increase in the output or production of potable water (million m3 per year) 54% 111 2,195,305
Improvement in the potable water quality of households connected to municipal water service 79% 163 102,388
Improved Air Quality Projects
Decrease in emissions and pollutants 60% 3 n.a.
Increase in public transit ridership 0% 0 n.a.
Improved Water and Wastewater Management Projects
Installation of new back-up power systems 16% 35 n.a.
Replacement of equipment 47% 102 n.a.
Installation of redundant equipment including dual runs / filters 18% 39 n.a.
Replacement of water mains or distribution system components 36% 78 n.a.
Replacement of sewer trunks or collection system components 38% 82 n.a.
Decrease in the infiltration in the wastewater collection system (million m3 per year) 30% 65 5,004,000
Decrease in the amount of unaccounted-for-water use 24% 52 1,015,892
Decrease in water consumption (million m3 per year) 14% 30 3,405,888
Decrease in water lost through leakage or wasted in inefficient treatment plant operations (million m3 per year) 30% 65 1,017,888
Increase in the capacity to treat wastewater (million m3 per year) 45% 98 7,132,760
Increase in the number of households on municipal collection whose wastewater is treated to a higher quality 45% 98 36,693
Increase in the number of households connected to municipal wastewater collection and treatment systems 33% 72 6,848
Increase in the number of households equipped with residential metering 11% 25 15,200
Installation of zone meters used to measure water distribution and demand patterns 3% 7 980
Improved Solid Waste Management Projects
Decrease in methane gas emissions 43% 6 n.a.
Increase in solid waste diverted through recycling and composting (metric tonnes per year) 57% 8 1,900

Case studies presented in Annex F of this report provide examples of projects that contributed to improved drinking water, sanitary sewage and storm water management and GHG reductions in participating communities. For example, the addition of insulation to the fire hall in the village of Edgerton, Alberta resulted in a 22% reduction in natural gas consumption, and a proportional reduction in GHG production.

5.6 Extent to which the ICP led to benefits in participating communities, including long-term economic growth

Based on SIMSI data and survey results outlined in the following table, the program has resulted in the creation of direct and indirect permanent jobs and in the leverage of additional funds from private sector. The program has also contributed to increase traffic capacity of close to 500,000 more vehicles per year (survey data). The case study on the Fredericton Airport showed that the extension of the runway, funded through the ICP, resulted in more reliable service, fewer aircraft diversions and flight cancellations, increased traffic and a more sustainable airport. Based on SIMSI data, the program has also helped improve access to the new economy as evidenced by improved telecommunications for more than 165,000 users and the provision of high speed internet access to 471 public institutions. Finally, the program has resulted in increased tourism opportunities in Canadian communities, as evidenced by an increase of close to 1.2 million tourists in communities reporting such benefits (SIMSI).

Table 4: Benefits as Reported in SIMSI and by Surveyed Recipients
(Dates not included in database for SIMSI data)

Benefit SIMSI Data Surveyed
Recipients Data
# of
Amount (Sum)
# of
Increased economic opportunity in communities
# of permanent jobs directly created by the project 150 2,155 2,201 48% 34 825
# of permanent jobs indirectly created through the project 30 2,486 3,194 29% 20 3,136
Increase in private sector capital investment or economic activity in the community as a result of the project 35 $103,265,051 $112,408,087 59% 41 $492,970,176
Safer and more efficient movement of people and goods
Decrease in traffic accidents (# of accidents per annum) 10 37 37 47% 14 25
Increase in traffic capacity (# of vehicles per annum) 4 191,000 191,000 80% 24 489,880
Increased access to the new economy through improved telecom
# of users served by improved / higher capacity telecom links in remote / rural areas 5 166,683 166,680 n.a. n.a. n.a.
# of local public institutions provided access to high speed telecommunications services 6 471 471 60% 3 1
Increased tourism opportunities
# of tourists visiting community as a result of the project (# of tourists per annum) 48 1,804,720 1,193,121 73% 22 102,230

The projects carried out in the majority of the case studies presented in Annex F contributed to economic growth, through increased tourism, improved business conditions or support for town expansion. For instance, in the Town of Georgina, where the installation of water distribution and sanitary sewage systems in Willow Beach and surrounding communities, the project funded through the ICP allowed the village to remove building restrictions. The town has issued 189 new building permits and 146 permits for additions and renovations to existing homes, contributing to increased employment and economic activity in the area.

5.7 Extent to which the ICP resulted in the use of best economically proven technologies, new approaches and best practices

As stated in the ICP RMAF/RBAF, the municipally-oriented collaborative project selection process respecting federal program objectives and priorities, coupled with the provincial allocation of funding is expected to result in the use of new approaches, best practices, innovations and partnerships for infrastructure development. Performance indicators were identified as follows:

  • Encouraged innovation – confirmation that the project uses the best available technology that is currently proven and economically feasible. Based on the results of a survey of 500 recipients, 75 projects had used the best available technology. The survey recipients indicated that using the best available technology had resulted in numerous benefits including cost savings, improved infrastructure, health and safety benefits, longer life expectancy of infrastructure, environmental benefits and/or improved efficiency.
  • Increased partnerships – confirmation that the project employs public-private or NGO partnerships and/or funds leveraged from non-government partners for the projects. The SIMSI data did not identify any project (i.e. zero) that employed public-private or NGO partnerships. However, based on the SIMSI data, the projects levered more than
    $122 million from non-government partners. Further, based on the survey of recipients, the types of partnerships developed included partnerships with clubs, associations or other non-profit organizations, with private sector organizations, with local or municipal governments and/or with individuals or people in the community. These partners contributed financially or they made in-kind contributions to the projects. Also, based on the survey, these relationships are sustainable after the project is completed as evidenced by the fact that 61% of recipients indicated that they are still working with all the project partners and 35% are still working with some of them.7
  • Use of new approaches and best practices – confirmation that the project uses construction best practices and/or confirmation of reduced consumption as a result of using demand management techniques. The SIMSI data did not identify any project that confirmed best practices or reduced consumption. Based on the survey results, 64 projects had used construction best practices for the project. The types of best practices used included Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or other environmental best practices, construction according to current standards, regulations or guidelines, use of latest technology or techniques, or use of construction best practices or materials.
  • More efficient use of existing infrastructure – reduction in operating costs and/or reduction in life cycle costs for an existing or replacement facility. The SIMSI data shows that 213 projects resulted in reduced operating costs of close to $4 million and 19 projects resulted in reduced life cycle costs of close to $2.7 million.

As discussed in Annex F, several of the case studies provide examples of the use of best economically proven techniques and best practices. These include the expansion of the Greater Fredericton Airport runway, with an asphalt/concrete wearing surface that meets all Transport Canada standards being installed on the runway, and the cracked concrete/asbestos sewer pipe being replaced with more flexible and durable high density polyethylene insulated pipe better suited for the climate and soil conditions.

5.8 Extent to which the ICP enhanced community infrastructure through an increase in community safety, the supply of affordable housing and support for Canadian heritage and culture

The program logic model identifies improved community infrastructure as one of its intermediate outcomes. Based on the RMAF/RBAF, this is intended to be achieved through increased access to local recreational facilities (as evidenced by the number of users), increased community safety (as evidenced by a decrease in response time for emergency vehicles, houses with reduced risk of flood, improved fire protection and/or confirmation of construction to building code or safety standards), increased supply of affordable housing (as evidenced by the number of new units provided), support for Canadian heritage and culture (as evidenced by the number of visits to heritage or cultural facilities and/or the number of designated heritage sites preserved or renovated), and/or support for the development of English and French linguistic minority communities (as evidenced by the number of individuals in official language minority communities visiting heritage or cultural sites and/or using recreational facilities). Program results for improved community infrastructure are as follows:

  • Increased access to local recreational facilities – Based on SIMSI data, some of the projects have resulted in increased number of users of local recreational facilities affected by the 171 projects involving recreational facilities. The survey results show that improved recreational facilities also resulted in an ability to hold more events, and provide more comfort and/or increased service.
  • Increased community safety – Based on SIMSI data, some of the projects have resulted in an average decrease in response time for emergency vehicles of more than 15 minutes in 20 communities. The SIMSI data also show that more than 28,000 households in 79 communities have reduced risk of flooding. Additionally, 82,000 households in 227 communities have improved fire protection as a result of the program. While none of the projects in SIMSI confirmed construction to building codes or safety standards, 83 communities noted this in the survey of recipients.
  • Increased supply of affordable housing – Based on SIMSI data, some of the projects have resulted in close to 300 new affordable housing units in only four communities.
  • Support of Canadian heritage and culture – Based on SIMSI data, some of the projects have resulted in more than one million visits to heritage or cultural facilities in 25 communities, as well as the preservation or renovation of 11 designated heritage sites.
  • Support for the development of English and French linguistic minority communities Based on SIMSI data, 300 individuals in one official language minority community visiting heritage or cultural sites and/or using recreational facilities.

The case studies in Annex F provide several examples of projects that have resulted in increased safety as well as support for Canadian culture and recreation. In Tilting, Newfoundland and Labrador and Georgina, Ontario, the new water distribution systems included fire hydrants, which reduced the risk of injury due to fire.

5.9 Extent to which the ICP increased awareness by Canadians of the federal role in infrastructure

Strategic communications goals for federal delivery partners were established at the outset of the program and received Treasury Board approval. These goals included the maintenance of a high and positive profile for the program; promotion of the collaborative spirit in program design and delivery; highlighting of the short and long-term economic, social and environmental benefits of the projects; and promotion of the Government of Canada's commitment to improving the quality of life and Canada's economic growth.

The mid-term evaluation of the ICP noted that "there appears to be no consistent tracking and measurement of ICP communications that would contribute to an assessment of the extent to which ICP communications increased levels of awareness." 8 No further documentary evidence was provided to assess the extent to which ICP communication protocols were implemented for this national evaluation.

Interviewees (MC members, FDPs, JS staff and municipalities), however, indicated that significant efforts were made by municipalities and F/P/T partners to ensure compliance with the communication protocols. The general public was made aware of the role of the federal government in the context of each funded project, according to the communication protocol. In general, interviewees felt that awareness of the federal role may have increased to a certain extent owing to these efforts.

In total, 94% of surveyed recipients indicated that they had publicly acknowledged the fact that Infrastructure Canada was contributing to the project. The most popular methods used by recipients to promote the role of Infrastructure Canada were signage at the site (86%), articles or press releases (81%), and/or inclusion of Government of Canada or INFC logo on any material related to the project (53%).

For many of the case studies, the project files included reference to the installation of the required signage identifying the project as being carried out through the ICP in each province and territory. Many of the files also included reference to newspaper articles describing the project, its benefits and the source of funding. Many of the articles included quotes from local mayors and other elected officials commenting on the benefits of the project to their community. In a number of cases, a federal Minister or Member of Parliament and elected provincial representatives were involved in a special ceremony either at the beginning or upon completion of the project.

5.10 Extent to which the quality of life of Canadians improved as a result of ICP-funded projects

The enhancement of infrastructure in Canada's urban and rural communities is influenced by a number of other factors, including the existence of complementary programs, economic conditions and other available resources. Consequently, changes in the ultimate outcomes such as quality of life solely as a result of the ICP are difficult to identify.

The program's logic model was premised on the fact that, by supporting projects that were intended to enhance the quality of Canada's environment and/or improve community infrastructure, the ICP would contribute to improving the quality of life of Canadians. In Dowell Myers' research note entitled "Community-Relevant Measurement of Quality of Life," 9 the author identifies a series of quality of life indicators including (in order of importance): crime; water quality; cost of living; jobs; schools; traffic; housing costs; taxes; health; parks; trees; climate; equality; arts and entertainment. Several of these indicators are of direct relevance to the ICP (water quality, jobs, traffic, housing costs, arts and entertainment) while others are indirectly related to some of the projects supported by the program (e.g. cost of living, taxes, health and parks). The program's logic is therefore supported by the Myers research note.

Several results outlined in sections 5.5 and 5.8 provide evidence that the ICP enhanced the quality of life of Canadians in participating communities through improved water quality; improved air quality; improved water and wastewater management; improved solid waste management; more efficient energy use; increased access to local recreational facilities; increased supply of affordable housing; support for Canadian heritage and culture and support for the development of English and French linguistic minority communities.

The case studies provide examples of some of the types of projects that enhance the quality of the Canadian environment and community infrastructure. They include new and expanded community water distribution to improve water quality; new and expanded sanitary sewage collection systems to replace inadequate septic systems that contaminate wells and surface water; and installation of insulation and more efficient pumps to reduce energy consumption. They also include improvements to recreational facilities in Belfast, Prince Edward Island; improvements to community safety through improved fire protection in Tilting, Newfoundland and Labrador and Georgina, Ontario; support for Canadian culture through improvements to the Caravan Farm Theatre in Armstrong, British Columbia; and support for the francophone minority through the construction of an entrepreneurship center in the Municipality of the District of Clare, Nova Scotia.

5.11 Extent to which the ICP facilitated the long-term economic growth of municipalities and rural communities in the 21st century

The program's logic model and the evaluation matrix envisioned that projects would support long-term economic growth through increased economic and tourism opportunities in participating communities; safer and more efficient movement of people and goods; increased access to the new economy through improved telecommunication for local public institutions, remote and rural areas. Through these diverse activities and measures, urban and rural communities were expected to build 21st century infrastructure while encouraging partnership, innovation and use of new approaches and best practices and more efficient use of existing infrastructure.

Most municipal representatives indicated that ICP projects have indirectly made a contribution to long-term economic growth. This is supported by the SIMSI data. Some municipalities indicated that the increased capacity of municipal water and wastewater services has led to new residential and business development in their areas, thereby increasing the municipal property tax base and economic growth. However, upgrading and/or renewing much of existing aging public infrastructure put in place in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s remains a significant challenge for municipalities and rural communities across Canada given that the demand for infrastructure funding has far exceeded the available funding.

Key results discussed in previous sections demonstrate that the program has contributed to economic growth in the 21st century in participating communities through increased economic opportunity in communities; safer and more efficient movement of people and goods; increased access to the new economy through telecommunications for local public institutions or remote and rural areas; and increased tourism opportunities.

Several other case studies provide examples of the use of best practices, including the use in the Village of Mayo of more flexible high density polyethylene sewer pipe to replace the existing cracked asbestos cement pipe. Other case studies provided examples of projects which contribute to the program sub-objectives associated with long term economic growth. The extension of the runway at the Greater Fredericton Airport is supporting the safer and more efficient movement of people and goods. The construction of the tourism pavilion at the Rivière Ste-Anne, Quebec and the construction of the campground in the village of Edgerton have provided increased tourism opportunities in those communities.

[1] The ICP allowed federal cost-sharing of up to 50% for non-tax-based municipalities, which included almost all communities in Nunavut and many in the Northwest Territories

[2] Even though the incrementality was one of five screening criteria to select project proposals, Schedule A of the Agreements do not stipulate explicitly that projects which have already gone to tender are precluded from consideration under the ICP. In addition, Management Committees in each region have considerable latitude in designing the ranking system as it was up to them to decide on the elements that are to be taken into account, the weighting accorded to each element and the method for assigning a score to each element.


[4] Internal Audit Report, SIMSI Management Control Framework, Final Report June 2009

[5] The numbers in brackets represent the number of respondents. All others did not know.

[6] The numbers in brackets represent the number of respondents. All others did not know.

[7] The balance indicated that they did not know.

[8] ICP Mid-term Evaluation Final Report, September 29, 2005. (p. 18)

[9] Myers, D. "Community-Relevant Measurement of Quality of Life: A Focus on Local Trends," Urban Affairs Quarterly, Volume 23, Number 1, September 1987, pages 108-125.

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