Departmental Plan - Raison D'être, Mandate and Role: Who We Are and What We Do

Raison D'être

The key to building Canada for the 21st century is a strategic and collaborative long-term infrastructure plan that builds economically vibrant, strategically planned, sustainable and inclusive communities. Infrastructure Canada works closely with all orders of government and other partners to enable investments in social, green, public transit and other core public infrastructure, as well as trade and transportation infrastructure.

Mandate and Role

Public infrastructure provides a foundation to help Canadians maintain and improve their quality of life. The federal government's interest originates from its jurisdictional responsibilities for trade, security, and Indigenous Peoples on reserves, and the role that public infrastructure plays in addressing Canada's national priorities of growing the economy and protecting the environment. Strategic infrastructure investments are needed to create jobs, build sustainable communities and support economic growth for years to come. Infrastructure investments help address complex challenges that Canadians face every day – ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, and environmental threats to our water and land.

Infrastructure Canada provides long-term predictable support to help Canadians benefit from world-class, modern public infrastructure. The Department achieves this by making investments, building partnerships, developing policies, delivering programs, and fostering knowledge about public infrastructure in Canada. Since it was established in 2002, the Department has been an important funding partner, working with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous Communities, the private sector and non-profit organizations, along with other federal departments and agencies, to help build and revitalize infrastructure that supports modern, inclusive and diverse communities – and a strong Canada.

In the spring of 2016, the Government of Canada announced a new long-term plan that is already delivering significant new funding to provinces, territories, municipalities and Indigenous communities. The plan, which is being developed in collaboration with all orders of government, is delivering both immediate increased investments in infrastructure and will provide long-term predictable funding to address the priorities of Canadians.

In the 2016 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada announced a proposal to invest an additional $81 billion through to 2027-2028 in public transit; green infrastructure; social infrastructure; trade and transportation infrastructure; and rural and northern communities. Infrastructure Canada will be at the forefront of helping the Government deliver on these new proposed initiatives. The Government also announced a proposal for establishing two new innovative initiatives: the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Smart Cities Challenge.

Investing in Canada: A Transformational Infrastructure Plan
In Budget 2016, the government made immediate investments of $11.9 billion in public transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure. The 2016 Fall Economic Statement proposes an additional $81 billion through to 2027-28 in public transit; green infrastructure; social infrastructure; trade and transportation infrastructure; and rural and northern communities. Taking into account existing infrastructure programs, the government will be investing more than$180 billion.

Back in 2011, the Government of Canada committed to building a new bridge over the St. Lawrence River to ensure safe and efficient transportation for commuters, public transit users and commercial vehicles. Infrastructure Canada is the project authority responsible for delivering the New Champlain Bridge Corridor project in Montréal, Quebec. The existing Champlain Bridge is one of the busiest bridges in Canada with traffic estimated at over 40 million vehicles per year. It is a major Canada-United States trade corridor and a vital link in Montréal's public transportation system, handling $20 billion of international trade and 11 million transit commuters per year. The new bridge will increase the capacity and efficiency of gateway and corridor infrastructure regionally and nationally and will provide an efficient solution for the movement of goods and people by widening the federally-owned portion of the A-15 Highway to six-lanes and replacing the Nuns' Island (Île-des-Soeurs) Bridge. The new bridge will be completed in 2018 and the rest of the Corridor is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

On November 4, 2015, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities was given responsibility for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project and the resources that oversee the project were transferred from Transport Canada to Infrastructure Canada. This project is the largest bi‑national infrastructure project along the Canada-United States border. The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, a Crown corporation, is responsible for delivering this new border crossing between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan — Canada's most important trade corridor with its largest trading partner. Nearly 30 percent of Canada-United States trade by truck goes through Windsor-Detroit, representing approximately $100 billion per year of merchandise trade. Once complete, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will provide additional capacity to accommodate future traffic growth and will encourage investment and increased trade between Canada and the United States. It will also provide system redundancy, improve border processing and capacity, and will connect Highway 401 in Ontario and the Interstate system in Michigan. The project will help create thousands of construction jobs and long-term employment opportunities on both sides of the border.

For more general information about the Department, see the "Supplementary information" section of this report. For more information on the Department's organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister's mandate letter on the Prime Minister of Canada's website.

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