Canadian Consulting Engineer

CIB launches Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative

The target is to invest at least $1 billion.

March 19, 2021  By CCE

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The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has launched its Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII) to generate investments, support access to capital and enable the building of new projects in Indigenous communities.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities will have the opportunity to partner with the CIB to address the infrastructure gap. The projects enabled by CIB’s ICII investments will focus on creating jobs and economic development, providing more clean and accessible water, enhancing energy security, providing low-carbon energy supply, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving broadband Internet connectivity.

As part of the ICII, CIB will tailor low-interest and long-term financing to provide loans of at least $5 million for up to 80% of projects’ total capital cost. Community-based revenue-generating projects may fall within any of the following priority sectors: green infrastructure, clean power, broadband, public transit, trade and transportation.

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CIB says it has developed the ICII with input from Indigenous leaders, communities and infrastructure organizations. Further, in connection with the launch, CIB has expanded its specialized Indigenous investment team to provide advice, develop projects and conduct internal due diligence for all investment opportunities.

“The initiative is an engagement toward collaborative, respectful and beneficial partnerships with Indigenous communities,” says CIB CEO Ehren Cory.

The launch follows federal minster of infrastructure and communities Catherine McKenna’s statement of priorities and accountabilities to CIB, which set a target of investing at least $1 billion in Indigenous infrastructure across the priority sectors.

“I am very pleased this initiative will advance smaller-scale projects and will drive progress toward that target,” McKenna says.

“Major long-term investments are essential,” says Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed. “Programs like the ICII add to the financial tools we can use to begin to address the infrastructure gap.”

“I support the efforts of CIB to work directly with First Nations in meaningful and collaborative ways that will lead to much-needed investments toward better infrastructure and sustainable economic growth,” says Perry Bellegard, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.


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