Departmental Performance Report - Minister's Message
As Canada's Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, I am pleased to present Infrastructure Canada's Departmental Performance Report for 2013-2014. The report outlines the achievements of the Department over the past year, as it delivered on the Government of Canada's unprecedented commitments to modernizing public infrastructure.
This past year saw the implementation of the $53 billion New Building Canada Plan (NBCP), the largest and longest federal infrastructure plan in our nation's history. The NBCP provides stable funding over a 10-year period and supports projects that enhance economic growth, job creation and productivity across Canada.
In March 2014, Infrastructure Canada launched the $14 billion New Building Canada Fund (NBCF), ahead of schedule. Only a few weeks later, the Government of Canada announced support for the Valley Line Stage 1 Light Rail Transit expansion project in Edmonton, Alberta. This project was the first to be identified for funding following the launch of the New Building Canada Fund. Since then, we have continued to work with provinces and territories to provide funding for several projects under the New Building Canada Fund.
In addition to the New Building Canada Fund, Infrastructure Canada has been working with all provincial and territorial governments to finalize the renewed federal Gas Tax Fund agreements that will govern the flow of federal funds over the next 10 years, from 2014-2015 to 2023-2024. The renewed Gas Tax Fund has been made permanent and will be indexed at 2 per cent per year, with increases to be applied in $100 million increments, starting in 2014. Over the 10-year life of the Plan, the Gas Tax Fund will deliver close to $22 billion in funding for municipalities. Renewed Gas Tax Fund agreements have now been signed with all jurisdictions.
As we implement the New Building Canada Plan, we are ensuring a seamless transition from previous programs with funding continuing to flow steadily to projects across the country. Our total investment through the NBCP will be approximately $53 billion from 2014-15 to 2023-24, an average of $5.35 billion per year to support projects across Canada over the next ten years.
This year, in addition to delivering new and ongoing infrastructure programs, Infrastructure Canada also acquired responsibility of the overall management of the new bridge for the St. Lawrence corridor project in Montreal (Quebec). This is one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America and includes not only the new bridge for the St. Lawrence, but a new Nuns' Island Bridge, and reconstruction and widening of the federal portion of Highway 15. The Government of Canada launched the procurement process for this public-private partnership project on March 17, 2014 and is committed to having the new bridge open by December 2018 and the rest of the corridor completed by December 2020.
The Government of Canada's unprecedented investments in infrastructure are making a real difference in the lives of Canadians. As a result of these investments the average age of core public infrastructure has declined from its peak of 17.8 years in 2000 to 14.7 years in 2013, its youngest age since data was initially collected in 1961.
Looking forward, Infrastructure Canada will continue to contribute to the Government of Canada's key priorities by implementing the New Building Canada Plan and delivering the new bridge for the St. Lawrence on time and on budget and by supporting infrastructure projects across Canada that encourage job creation and economic growth and that contribute to the quality of life of all Canadians.
The Honourable Denis Lebel, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
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