Departmental Plan - Minister's Message
As Canada's Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, I am pleased to present Infrastructure Canada's Departmental Plan (DP) for 2017-18. Our Plan provides parliamentarians and Canadians with information on what we do and the results we are trying to achieve during the upcoming year. To improve reporting to Canadians, we are introducing a new, simplified report to replace the Report on Plans and Priorities.
The title of the report has been changed to reflect its purpose: to communicate our annual performance goals and the financial and human resources forecast to deliver those results. The report has also been restructured to tell a clearer, more straightforward and balanced story of the actual results we are trying to achieve, while continuing to provide transparency on how taxpayers' dollars will be spent. We are sharing our story and how our programs, services and accomplishments improve the lives of Canadians. The report will also share our priorities for 2017–18, and how our work will fulfill our departmental mandate commitments and the government's priorities.
Infrastructure investments are key to the success of Canadians, our communities, and our country. Infrastructure provides opportunity, by getting people to work and children to school, by lifting families out of poverty, and growing businesses.
Our cities are growing rapidly, and our existing infrastructure assets need to be repaired. We need to work with our partners to maintain the infrastructure we have now and deliver our Investing in Canada plan, a long-term plan that meets the real needs of our communities.
Last year the Government of Canada launched the first phase of our plan, which focused on making repairs to our critical infrastructure, and we did not waste any time rolling it out. We signed bilateral agreements with all provinces and territories that led to the approval of more than 800 projects. With previously existing programs, this means a total of over 1200 projects approved across the country, on top of the 2000 projects funded through the Gas Tax Fund.
We engaged Canadians from coast to coast to coast, online and in person, to identify their infrastructure needs and priorities. We strengthened our relationships with provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous partners through a landmark meeting of ministers responsible for infrastructure and other constructive forums. We improved how we do business and build partnerships. Our collaborative approach is leading to solutions for the future. We started a new partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that will provide training on how to strengthen infrastructure planning and decision-making and help municipalities transition to a clean growth economy.
Last November's Fall Economic Statement presented the fiscal framework for our plan. Including the work already underway, our government will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years to improve our infrastructure across the country, provide opportunities for Canadians and build strong communities.
We will focus on five key areas – public transit; green infrastructure, social infrastructure; transportation infrastructure that supports trade; and rural and northern communities.
We will create a Canada Infrastructure Bank to enhance infrastructure investment through innovative funding and financing. We will launch a Smart Cities Challenge to improve the quality of life for urban residents through better city planning, digital connectivity and clean technologies. I believe these investments will build communities where people want to live, work and raise families today and help us prepare for the challenges ahead.
As we implement our long-term plan, we will advance our work on the new Champlain Bridge in Montreal and the Gordie Howe International Bridge in Windsor. The importance of these projects cannot be understated – the Windsor-Detroit Gateway is the busiest commercial land crossing along the Canada-US border and the existing Champlain Bridge sees an estimated $20 billion in trade cross it every year. We will continue to deliver these projects for Canadians.
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
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