Investing in Green Infrastructure
To ensure that Canada's communities are healthy and productive places to live, Budget 2016 included investments of $5 billion over five years towards infrastructure projects that protect communities and support Canada's ongoing transition to a clean growth economy. Of this, $2 billion will flow through Infrastructure Canada’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) to provide communities with more reliable water and wastewater systems.
To advance Canada's efforts to build a clean economy, Budget 2017 lays out the Government's plan to invest $21.9 billion in green infrastructure, including initiatives that will support the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
Of this, $9.2 billion will be provided to provinces and territories over the next decade through bilateral agreements. A further $5 billion will be available for green infrastructure projects through the Canada Infrastructure Bank and $2.8 billion through a series of national programs.
For more information, visit: Budget 2017: Building a Strong Middle Class
There are important links between public infrastructure and climate change, which is why climate change mitigation and adaptation needs to be considered in the investment decision-making process. Infrastructure Canada's 2018 Bilateral Agreements with provinces and territories include a requirement to apply a Climate Lens assessment for certain projects. It also applies to all Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund projects and any winning proposals dealing with mitigation and adaptation under the Smart Cities Challenge. To assist project proponents, Infrastructure Canada has developed a guidance document found here: Climate Lens General Guidance to support carrying out these assessments. In addition, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Centre for Climate Services can provide guidance and resources to be used for making climate-smart decisions when planning for the future.
For additional information on Budget 2016 green infrastructure initiatives, see:
Adapting to Climate Change Impacts - Building Design Guides and Codes
Canada will also need to adapt our public infrastructure to a changing climate and strengthen the resilience of our communities to the impacts of climate change. Budget 2016 proposes to provide $129.5 million over five years, starting in 2016–17, to seven federal departments and agencies to implement programming focused on building the science base to inform decision-making, protecting the health and well-being of Canadians, building resilience in the North and Indigenous communities, and enhancing competitiveness in key economic sectors.
Budget 2016 also proposes to provide an additional $40 million over five years, starting in 2016–17, to integrate climate resilience into building design guides and codes. The funding will support revised national building codes by 2020 for residential, institutional, commercial and industrial facilities. Guides integrating climate resiliency into the design and rehabilitation of public infrastructure will also be ready for adoption by 2020. - Source: Budget 2016
Addressing Waste Management for First Nations Communities
Many First Nations communities face challenges in adequately managing garbage and waste on reserve, which can contaminate the environment and pose health and safety risks to people. Budget 2016 proposes to support efforts to improve how garbage and waste is managed on reserve through a proposed investment of $409 million over five years, starting in 2016–17. The proposed funding will help First Nations located near municipalities to divert waste from reserve lands to municipal facilities and reduce the amount of garbage going to landfills through recycling and composting programs.
For remote First Nations communities, the investments will support the construction of properly engineered landfills and ensure that waste disposal meets environmental standards, limiting potential environmental and health impacts that come from poor waste management. - Source: Budget 2016
Advancing Regional Electricity Cooperation
Significant investment in Canada's electricity sector will be needed over the next 20 years to replace aging infrastructure and meet growing demand for electricity. Budget 2016 proposes to provide $2.5 million over two years, starting in 2016–17, to Natural Resources Canada to facilitate regional dialogues and studies that identify the most promising electricity infrastructure projects with the potential to achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions. This initiative will help shape future investments to maximize economic and environmental benefits. - Source: Budget 2016
Building Capacity in Municipalities to Address Climate Change
From reducing greenhouse gas emissions to transforming the way we live, work and move around our communities, municipalities are on the front lines of serving Canadians. When it comes to issues like climate change—a significant challenge that will affect every community in different ways—help from other orders of government is needed.
To support municipalities' front-line efforts, the Government has announced $75 million in new funding for local governments to address climate change, to be delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. This investment will support municipality-led projects to identify and implement greenhouse gas reduction opportunities. It will also support the assessment of local climate risks, and the integration of these impacts into asset management plans.
Details about the program are available on the FCM website.
Developing Community Capacity for Asset Management Best Practices
The Government is also proposing a new $50 million capacity-building fund to support the use of asset management best practices across Canada. Asset management plans guide how core infrastructure assets are to be built, renewed, operated, maintained and replaced. This type of planning helps to maximize the use of public dollars. Smaller communities, in particular, have indicated that they lack corporate capacity to undertake these important planning activities. This funding will be delivered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and will strengthen capacity-building in communities for longer-term planning that supports strategic investments.
Details about the program are available on the FCM website.
In addition, Infrastructure Canada will work with Statistics Canada to improve infrastructure-related data. This will support better information on the state and performance of core public infrastructure assets for all levels of government.
Funding Innovative Green Municipal Projects
Budget 2016 proposes to provide $125 million over the next two years to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to enhance the Green Municipal Fund, including for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This Fund, established in partnership with municipalities in 2000, finances and funds innovative, municipal green infrastructure priorities, and has provided over $700 million to projects across the country since its inception.
Green Municipal Fund
The Green Municipal Fund supports projects across Canada that produce tangible benefits for communities through improved environmental, economic and social outcomes. Recently funded initiatives include:
- The expansion of the successful Halifax Solar City pilot to install solar hot water systems and efficient water fixtures in homes; and
- Canada's first “net-zero” municipal library in Varennes, Quebec, which will generate as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis.
Investing in Electric Vehicle and Alternative Transportation Fuels Infrastructure
Early action is needed to support the transition to low-carbon transportation fuels, as vehicle choices made today will determine the mix of technologies on the road in 2030. Budget 2016 proposes to provide $62.5 million over two years, starting in 2016–17, to Natural Resources Canada to support the deployment of infrastructure for alternative transportation fuels, including charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling stations. The Government will advance these objectives by working with provinces and territories, municipalities and the private sector. These resources will also support technology demonstration projects that advance electric vehicle charging technology. - Source: Budget 2016
Strengthening On Reserve Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
In 2011, a National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater Infrastructure identified the need for additional investments in this type of infrastructure as well as the challenges Indigenous communities faced to adequately maintain and operate their facilities. While some progress has been made, significant gaps remain. Budget 2016 proposes to address health and safety needs, ensure proper facility operation and maintenance, and end long-term boil water advisories on reserves within five years by investing an additional $1.8 billion over five years, starting in 2016–17. - Source: Budget 2016
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