Building Canada Fund - Funding Categories in Detail

Investment categories and criteria for funding under the Building Canada Fund fall under three themes:

A Stronger Economy

To build a more competitive and prosperous economy, Building Canada invests in:

1. National Highway System

Building Canada promotes investments in Canada's core National Highway System:

  • To support Canada's trade and tourism flow, both inter-provincially and internationally.
  • To increase the efficiency and improve the safety and mobility of the transportation system.
  • To support new capacity and safety and rehabilitation projects on highways that form part of the core National Highway System, including bridges.

Rehabilitation projects must meet the definition of 'rehabilitation' as agreed upon by the Council of Ministers in 2005. Intelligent Transportation Systems projects are also eligible.

2. Connectivity and Broadband

Building Canada funding in this category is directed towards projects designed to:

  • Improve the delivery of public services, such as government services, education and health;
  • Improve quality of life, social development, reduce travel requirements, and increase the potential for innovation and economic development by connecting Canadians, particularly in rural and remote communities.

In order to promote competitiveness, funding criteria requires that the project proponents conduct a commercially and technologically neutral Request for Proposals. In addition, the projects will be required to provide for third-party open access.

3. Local and Regional Airports

Building Canada supports investments in local and regional airports:

  • To promote Canada's regional economic development by improving the efficiency of these facilities.
  • To maintain high levels of safety and security.

Projects must be financially supported by provincial and local/regional governments. Projects cannot negatively impact other airports in the vicinity and the overall provision of airport and air transportation services in the region. Project justification must be based on current demand, and if the project is intended to expand facilities/ capacity, the proponent must substantiate the intended users.

4. Tourism

Building Canada funding in this category is limited to the construction or improvement of convention centres or exhibition hall-type facilities that:

  • Increase the number of visitors to the community, and the length and quality of stay of those visitors;
  • Promote Canada or the region as a leading destination for Canadian and international visitors.

5. Short-sea Shipping

Building Canada stimulates investments that support short-sea shipping infrastructure:

  • To promote Canada's competitiveness, trade and quality of life by helping to optimize the use of all transportation modes, and by contributing to the sustainability of the transportation system.

Eligible projects are limited to marine terminal intermodal facilities and capitalized equipment for loading/unloading, and technology and equipment used to improve the interface between the marine and rail/highways modes.

6. Short-line Railways

Building Canada encourages investment in short-line railways:

  • To promote Canada's competitiveness, trade and quality of reh
  • life by helping to optimize the use of all modes of transportation, and by contributing to the sustainability of the transportation system.

Eligible projects are limited to freight and include the construction,

  • abilitation and/or upgrading of tracks and structures for safe and efficient operations, and the construction of lines by shortline railway companies to allow a railway to serve new customers.

A Cleaner Environment

Building Canada supports a cleaner environment through investments in:

1. Wastewater Infrastructure

Building Canada encourages investments in wastewater infrastructure designed to:

  • Reduce the negative impacts of municipal wastewater effluent or storm-water effluent on human health and the environment;
  • Improve the management of wastewater sludge;
  • Improve the management and efficiency of municipal wastewater infrastructure or storm-water infrastructure;
  • Improve the quality of municipal wastewater effluent and storm-water discharged into the environment through improved treatment.

2. Green Energy

Building Canada invests in sustainable energy infrastructure that contributes to:

  • Increased availability and/or reliability of Canada's clean energy supply;
  • Increased availability of renewable energy;
  • Improved air quality;
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Solid Waste Management

Building Canada promotes investments in solid-waste processing infrastructure that can reduce the environmental impacts of this waste. As a result, funding criteria emphasizes the diversion of solid waste out of the waste stream as well as measures that support the reduction and management of solid waste.

Strong and Prosperous Communities

1. Drinking Water

Building Canada promotes long-term funding for water infrastructure projects designed to:

  • Improve the safety, management, reliability and efficiency of Canada's drinking water treatment and distribution systems;
  • Increase the number of households with access to safe drinking water that meets or exceeds the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality;
  • Improve protection and management of drinking water sources;
  • Improve conservation of water.

2. Public Transit

Building Canada encourages investments in public transit infrastructure:

  • To support transit systems within cities, communities and urban regions to promote mobility and improved travel times, and to reduce urban congestion;
  • To construct, improve or restore public transit infrastructure that contributes to economic, environmental and social sustainability in Canada's cities and communities.

Any public transit passenger infrastructure purchased with federal funding must be accessible for persons with disabilities.

3. Local Roads

Building Canada supports investments in local roads:

  • To improve road safety, mobility and sustainability;
  • To support economic and community development.

For large-scale investments, new capacity projects are limited to major arterials and urban bypasses.

4. Disaster Mitigation

Building Canada investments are directed towards projects that will reduce the vulnerability of a community or public infrastructure to the negative impacts of extreme natural events, including adverse events related to climate change.

Funding is limited to structural mitigation projects, but must be supported by appropriate non-structural mitigation measures. In addition, projects must be supported by appropriate risk assessments that demonstrate the need for the structural mitigation.

5. Sport

Building Canada funding in this category is directed towards projects designed to:

  • Support the training of high performance amateur athletes.
  • Support national or international amateur athletic events that the community has been chosen to host.

Note: Facilities used primarily by professional or major junior athletes are not eligible for funding.

6. Recreation

The types of recreational infrastructure eligible for funding under the Building Canada Fund are as follows:

  • Large facilities or complexes which support physical activity such as arenas, gymnasiums, swimming pools, sports fields, tennis, basketball, volleyball or other sports-specific courts, or other facilities that have sport and or/physical activity as a primary rationale;
  • Community centres that offer programming to the community at large, including all segments of the population;
  • Networks of parks, fitness trails and bike paths.

The total share of any province's allocation that can be provided to recreational infrastructure is limited to 10% of the gross per capita jurisdictional allocation.

7. Culture

Building Canada funding in this category is directed towards projects that:

  • Support arts and/or the preservation of designated heritage facilities;
  • Help communities express, preserve, develop and promote their culture and/or heritage.

8. Brownfield Redevelopment

A brownfield is a former industrial site which requires environmental clean up before it can be redeveloped for public use. Building Canada investments are directed towards projects designed to contribute to:

  • The removal or neutralization of the negative effects of brownfields on communities and the environment by remediating and redeveloping these properties in a sustainable manner;
  • More intense land use within cities and communities.

Funding criteria requires that any decontamination or remediation is done as part of a larger public infrastructure redevelopment project. Projects will also have to be supported by Environmental Site Assessments and remediation action plans.

Collaborative Projects

In addition to these categories, Building Canada supports collaborative projects. These projects support at least one of the following strategic objectives:

  • Promote the implementation of holistic approaches to public infrastructure planning and management, and sustainable community planning principles;
  • Encourage a culture of using integrated life cycle asset management as a decision-making approach;
  • Promote the integration of demand management in public infrastructure planning and management;
  • Encourage dissemination of project results to other municipalities; and
  • Support collaborative feasibility studies and planning studies on public infrastructure projects and issues.
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