ARCHIVED - Building for Prosperity: Public Infrastructure in Canada - Key Areas of Investment

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Key Areas of Investment

The Government of Canada's infrastructure investments span the country and cover all major categories of public infrastructure. This infrastructure supports the economy and makes Canada a better place in which to live and invest.

Below are brief descriptions of Infrastructure Canada's main funding priorities and some spotlighted projects. To see what projects are in your neighbourhood, visit: Infrastructure Canada.


Investment in wastewater infrastructure is important for the protection of public health and to improve the long-term viability and health of Canada's aquatic environments. Wastewater collection and treatment systems contribute to a number of important outcomes, including improvements in the level of wastewater treatment and an increase in the number of households connected to systems. Improving the reliability of these systems is also important. Even where adequate wastewater treatment systems are in place, storm water can cause sewer systems to overflow, allowing untreated wastewater to spill directly into our rivers, lakes and oceans.

Kieley Drive/Everard Avenue Sewer, St. John's, NL

Kieley Drive/Everard Avenue Sewer Replacement, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Kieley Drive/Everard Avenue Sewer Replacement, St. John's, NL

In the Kieley Drive/Everard Avenue area of St. John's, property owners had long-standing problems with sewer backups and basement flooding. City crews had to visit the neighbourhood every week to flush municipal sewer lines and perform maintenance. Now, with the help of $200,000 from the federal government, the replacement of all the municipal sewer lines in the area is complete. The new sewer system will improve health and safety for area residents and allow the city to redirect valuable maintenance resources to other municipal projects.

Drinking Water

Although Canada has abundant freshwater reserves within its borders, many communities face significant pressures regarding drinking water management, supply and quality. Improving infrastructure for drinking water helps to protect human health by ensuring that Canadians have access to safe, reliable and secure drinking water that meets or exceeds the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Investments in improved water treatment facilities can increase both the quality of drinking water and the number of households with access to it. Improvements to water distribution systems can increase the number of households with metering which, in turn, leads to decreased per capita water use. Better water infrastructure can decrease water leakage or loss, and decrease the use of treatment chemicals and the number of boil-water advisories a community experiences.

Gilbert Plains and Grandview – Town Reservoirs, Gilbert Plains, MB

Town Reservoirs, Gilbert Plains and Grandview, Manitoba

Town Reservoirs, Gilbert Plains and Grandview, MB

Thanks to a federal contribution of $723,333, two rural municipalities bordering on Riding Mountain National Park in the parkland area of western Manitoba can now boast about the quality and quantity of drinking water in their communities. As part of this project, Gilbert Plains and Grandview upgraded the area's water treatment and storage capacity, expanded the water reservoirs and converted their treatment facilities into pumping stations. Leaky water mains were also replaced and emergency backup power generators installed.


Roads provide a basic service that directly impacts the quality of life in all Canadian communities. Transportation infrastructure supports the safe and effective movement of people and goods. An efficient national transportation network ensures Canadian communities are connected both to each other and to the world. This network provides key support in promoting Canada's competitiveness, trade, security and quality of life.

Investments in highways and roads improve transportation safety and efficiency, and minimize the environmental impacts of congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, these investments improve mobility by easing congestion, and decreasing traffic accidents and the amount of emissions. They can also lead to a decrease in the response time for emergency vehicles which, in turn, increases the number of households with improved fire protection. At the same time, investments in the National Highway System, including connections to intermodal facilities and international gateways, increase the competitiveness of our economy.

Ring Roads to Improve Transportation Efficiencies in Calgary and Edmonton, AB

The Government of Canada is contributing $150 million toward the completion of ring roads around Calgary and Edmonton. In Calgary, 25 km of six-lane roadway will link 17th Avenue SE to Macleod Trail. In Edmonton, 11 km of new highway will complete the southern half of the ring road and link Highway 216 to the North-South Highway 2 corridor. Improved traffic efficiencies, streamlined shipping routes and lower collision rates are among the many benefits these projects will bring to Alberta's two largest cities.

Public Transit

Efficient urban transportation is a vital ingredient for addressing short-term economic challenges and preparing Canadian communities to meet the economic and environmental realities of the future. Public transit is a key part of urban transportation infrastructure. Well-planned public transit systems can provide a fast, effective and economical transportation option for city residents, as well as broader access to jobs, education, and to health care and recreational facilities.

Investments in public transit also help to increase the number of people travelling by transit, thus taking cars off the road and reducing congestion and air pollutants. These investments can increase the efficiency of operations resulting in cost savings through a reduction in travel times.

Meeting Demand for Public Transit in Vancouver, BC

West Coast Express Commuter Rail Improvements, Vancouver, British Columbia

West Coast Express Commuter Rail Improvements, Vancouver, BC

The Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund is contributing over $9 million to help the West Coast Express commuter rail service meet the demand for urban public transit in metro Vancouver. With a fleet of state-of-the-art trains and highway coaches, West Coast Express serves commuters in Vancouver and suburban Mission, Port Haney, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody. To meet the increasing demand for service from suburban commuters, West Coast Express is purchasing seven additional rail cars and making upgrades to Vancouver's Waterfront station and the station in Mission. Longer platforms in bothstations will improve passenger access and safety, and accommodate longer trains.

Green Energy

Summerside Wind Farm, Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Summerside Wind Farm, Summerside, PE

Canada's growing economy and population combine to create ever-increasing energy needs. Accommodating energy demand strictly from conventional fossil fuels contributes to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. There is a pressing need for clean energy infrastructure and the reinforcement and expansion of existing electricity transmission systems. To this end, investments in sustainable energy infrastructure are increasingly important. Renewable electricity investments, for instance, displace electricity generated from fossil fuels, mainly coal and oil, which account for a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in Canada. As well, renewable electricity sources are frequently small and distributed across a larger geographic area. This increases the number of sources of generation, which leads to a more distributed and therefore more resilient, reliable and secure system.

Northwest Transmission Line,  Bob Quinn Lake to Skeena, BC

The Government of Canada is contributing $130 million to the development of the Northwest Transmission Line through its Green Infrastructure Fund. When completed, it will convey 287 kilovolts along a mountainous, 344-kilometre corridor, initiating at the Skeena Substation near Terrace and terminating at a new substation that is to be built near Bob Quinn Lake. The line will provide a reliable supply of clean, renewable power to remote northern British Columbia communities that currently rely on diesel generators for electricity. Construction is expected to continue until late 2013.

Culture and Tourism

Culture and tourism investments showcase Canada and Canadian talent to the world. Our national identity and ingenuity are put centre stage through investments in opera houses, exhibition facilities and discovery centres. Many of Infrastructure Canada's culture and tourism investments, such as those made in library facilities and exhibition halls, result in multi-purpose installations, often serving as the focal point for community activities and cultural events. In turn, investments in these facilities generate spinoff activities that support the larger economic priorities of the community, promoting a region and Canada as a leading destination for tourists from around the world while enhancing the ability of communities to express, preserve, develop and promote their cultural heritage.

New Convention Centre Will Have Significant Economic Impact, Ottawa, ON

Ottawa Convention Centre, Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa Convention Centre,
Ottawa, ON

Made possible, in part, by a $50 million contribution from the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund, the new Ottawa Convention Centre is now complete. The project tripled the Centre's hosting capacity and is projected to deliver economic spinoffs of $129 million between 2011 and 2015 along with 1,200 new jobs. The downtown facility, which features a unique curved glass facade, has established new standards for sustainable design and is fast becoming an architectural landmark in Ottawa's prime tourist area.

New Museum Will Promote Local Culture, Edson, AB

The Galloway Station museum has been an important part of Edson's cultural fabric, documenting the railway, coal mining and lumber industries that established the town and its economy. However, existing display facilities could no longer accommodate the growing museum collection. Thanks to a $950,000 contribution from the federal InfrastructureStimulus Fund, the space challenge has been addressed. The work involves expanding the museum's exhibit space and adding a multi-purpose room and reception hall that can be used for corporate and educational events. Building upgrades also help safeguard the artifacts on display; better lighting, temperature and humidity controls conserve the wide variety of delicate materials. Shipping and receiving facilities offer improved security and handling.

Sports and Recreation

Arctic Winter Games Arena, Iqaluit, Nunavut

Arctic Winter Games Arena, Iqaluit, NU

For communities throughout the country, sports and recreational infrastructure is a cornerstone of community vitality and quality of life. In addition to promoting healthy active lifestyles, Canada's arenas, community centres, aquatic facilities, parks and outdoor spaces often serve as the focal point for community events and meetings, and contribute to strong, vibrant and healthy communities. These investments promote social inclusion and community cohesion while helping to reduce crime and community violence. Modern sports facilities also support the development of Canadian athletes and provide opportunities for Canadian communities to host regional, national and international sporting events.

New Sport Facility for Small Community, Buick Creek, BC

The residents of Peace River Regional District have wanted a local indoor ice arena and recreation facility for some time. With $946,267 in support from the Government of Canada's Recreational Infrastructure Canada program and $200,000 from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund program, this dream has become a reality. Community residents now enjoy a regulation-sized ice arena housed within a brand new building. The facility features accessible heated change rooms, service and storage rooms, and concession space. The building is also to people with disabilities. Hockey, figure skating, broomball and public skating will be offered in the winter season, while volleyball, floor hockey and indoor soccer are available from May to October. The facility also provides a venue for community gatherings and social events.

The Gas Tax Fund ($2B annually)

Through the Gas Tax Fund, municipalities across Canada benefit from $2 billion a year for local priorities. The program provides predictable yearly funding with considerable flexibility: these funds do not have to be matched, they can be banked for future years and they do not require upfront application processes for individual projects. The Gas Tax Fund was launched in 2005-06. In 2008, the government announced that the Gas Tax Fund would become a permanent measure, providing $2 billion per year in predictable and long-term infrastructure funding to Canada's cities and towns.

The Provincial-Territorial Base Fund (PT Base Fund) ($2.3B)

Through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund, provinces and territories receive predictable, stable, flexible funding. This funding, which runs to 2013-14 is provided through a streamlined federal approval process and affords provinces and territories with considerable flexibility. When the fund was established in 2007-08, jurisdictions were to receive $25 million each year over seven years (total $175 million). Under the Economic Action Plan, jurisdictions were given the additional flexibility of accelerated access to this funding, in support of economic recovery.

In recognition of the small population of the three northern territories, the Building Canada Fund allocation in the territories was combined with their PT Base Fund allocations. The combined funding is delivered under the terms and conditions of the PT Base Fund. The resulting PT Base funding envelope is $185.8 million, $182.6 million and $182.9 million in each of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

The Building Canada Fund ($9.3B including Top-Up)

The Building Canada Fund addresses national and regional priorities, as well as community initiatives, through a dual approach. The Major Infrastructure Component of the fund focuses on larger, strategic projects of national and regional significance that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits. The Communities Component prioritizes local initiatives through funding set aside for projects in communities with populations of less than 100,000 (2008-09 to 2016-17).

The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund ($4B)

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government established a multi-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund that provided funding to provincial, territorial, municipal and community construction-ready infrastructure projects. The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund complemented existing federal infrastructure funding by focusing on short-term objectives for economic stimulus (2008-09 to 2011-12).

The Green Infrastructure Fund ($1B)

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government established the Green Infrastructure Fund.

This five-year program (2009-10 to 2013-14) specifically targets projects that will improve the quality of the environment and lead to a more sustainable economy over the long term. The Green Infrastructure Fund supports projects that promote cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner water.

The Gateways and Border Crossings Fund ($2.1B)

Transport Canada is responsible for the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund through investments to improve the flow of goods between Canada and the rest of the world. This merit-based fund enhances infrastructure at key locations, such as major border crossings between Canada and the United States.

The Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative ($1B)

Through the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, led by Transport Canada, investments support specific strategies to seize geographic, trade and transportation opportunities in key regions. In advancing the gateway and corridor approach, the Government of Canada is pursuing long-term policy, planning and strategic investment in transportation systems to strengthen Canada's position in international commerce.

Public-Private Partnerships Canada Funding ($1.2B)

The $1.2 billion Public-Private Partnership Canada Fund is a merit-based program that supports P3 infrastructure projects that achieve value for Canadians, develop the Canadian P3 market and generate significant public benefits. It is delivered by Public-Private Partnerships Canada.

The Recreational Infrastructure Canada Fund ($500M)

The Recreational Infrastructure Canada program invested $500 million in recreational facilities across Canada as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. This national initiative has provided temporary economic stimulus that helped to reduce the impact of the global recession while renewing, upgrading and expanding recreational infrastructure in Canadian communities. This funding is delivered by federal regional development agencies (2008-09 to 2011-12).

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