2016–17 Departmental Results Report

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 cities and communities that are economically vibrant, strategically planned, sustainable and inclusive. Infrastructure Canada works in partnership with all orders of government and other partners to enable investments in economic, social and green infrastructure as well as the infrastructure needed to increase trade and economic growth.

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 and security, its fiduciary responsibility to First Nations living on-reserve, 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 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 managing federal infrastructure investments by working with provinces, territories, municipalities, other federal departments and agencies, the private sector and non-profit organizations to help support sustained economic growth, build stronger, more inclusive communities, and create more middle-class jobs for Canadians.

In the spring of 2016, the Government of Canada announced the initial phase of a new long-term infrastructure plan – the Investing in Canada plan – with close to $12 billion to be invested in public transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure. Through the 2016 Fall Economic Statement and Budget 2017, the Government of Canada announced its long-term vision for the plan and committed 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, helping the Government deliver on these new initiatives. The Government also announced a proposal to establish 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 and Budget 2017 proposed 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 over 12 years.

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 over 40 million vehicles and 11 million transit commuters per year. It is also a major Canada-United States trade corridor, handling $20 billion of international trade annually. This project includes the construction of a new Champlain Bridge to be completed in 2018, as well as major improvements to the traffic corridor leading to the bridge to be completed in 2019.  These include a widening of the federally-owned portion of the A-15 Highway and the replacement of the Nuns' Island (Île-des-Soeurs) Bridge, scheduled for completion in 2019. The new Champlain Bridge will increase the capacity and efficiency of our gateway and corridor infrastructure regionally and nationally.

On November 4, 2015, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities was given responsibility for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. This is our most important trade corridor, with our 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. This project, the largest bi-national infrastructure project along the Canada-United States border, will connect Highway 401 in Ontario and the Interstate system in Michigan and improve border processing and capacity. The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, a Crown corporation, is responsible for delivering this project, which will help create thousands of construction jobs and long-term employment opportunities on both sides of the border.

Also on November 4, 2015, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities was designated as the Minister responsible for federal matters relating to the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative. The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto in 2001 through provincial legislation to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's waterfront. The key drivers of the waterfront revitalization are reconnecting people with the waterfront, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability.

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

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