The federal government has outlined some of the ways in which Infrastructure Canada is making the terms and conditions of executing the bilateral agreements it has finalized with all of the provinces and territories to be more responsive to their needs:
- Simplifying process approval: streamlining the application process by launching an online portal for project applications to be submitted more easily and having a dedicated team of officials to shepherd large project proposals through approvals.
- Supporting more infrastructure renewal in rural and northern communities: measures include making available federal funding to cover a portion of the costs associated with planning infrastructure projects in communities with a population of less than 5,000 people.
- Increasing broadband access in rural communities: to improve access to high-speed Internet service in rural communities, broadband projects undertaken in the provinces with for-profit recipients will qualify for a larger share of federal funding.
- Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples: to promote a relationship with Indigenous peoples based on a recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, the costs of holding consultations with Indigenous peoples about proposed infrastructure projects will be retroactively eligible for federal funding.
- Expanding the types of energy retrofit projects that are eligible for federal funding: to support territorial governments in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, proposed projects that are eligible for federally funded energy retrofits will be expanded to include territorial administrative buildings, community administrative buildings and emergency services infrastructure in the territories.
“In responding to the needs expressed by other orders of government, the Government of Canada is adjusting the terms of its infrastructure plan to make them flexible enough to support the unique and evolving needs of our provincial and territorial partners, which collectively own more than 98% of all public infrastructure in this country,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in a media release.