Canadian Consulting Engineer

Pre-budget announcement for infrastructure

One day ahead of the federal budget to be released January 27, Transport Minister John Baird has announced that it ...

January 26, 2009   Canadian Consulting Engineer

One day ahead of the federal budget to be released January 27, Transport Minister John Baird has announced that it is initiating a new $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

Speaking in Ottawa on January 26 with an unusual pre-budget announcement, Baird said that the $4 billion would be for projects that take place over the next two years.  Federal bureaucrats have reported earmarked 400 projects that can be moved ahead quickly (municipalities have their own list of 1,000 projects they say are ready to go).

One of the conditions of the new funding, Baird said, is that the provinces and municipalities contribute their share.

Apparently the $4 billion fund is just part of a $7 billion package in the January 27 budget to be spent on infrastructure.

It’s not clear at this stage whether the $7 billion is in addition to existing funds, such as the $23-billion Building Canada plan which runs 2007-2014. That plan includes the $11.8 billion Gas Tax Fund.

It would be helpful when governments make their funding announcements if they would make it clear whether funds are part of an existing funding formula, or are in addition. Right now everyone seems to be confused.


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