Canadian Consulting Engineer

Where’s that infrastructure money heading?

February 2, 2009
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Infrastructure investment was a big part of Canada's federal budget presented by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on J...

Infrastructure investment was a big part of Canada’s federal budget presented by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on January 27.

Should the Budget pass, the government has promised almost $12 billion in new funding for infrastructure to stimulate the overall economy.

Minister Flaherty also said the government was seeking ways to accelerate the environmental approvals process. He said they would like to streamline the application of the Fisheries Act, and together with the territories and provinces would work on reducing duplication so that a project will not have to have both a federal and provincial environmental assessment.

Items in the Minister’s shopping list that are of particular interest to consulting engineers include the following — all allocations to be spent in the next two years:


$4 billion for a special Infrastructure Stimulus fund to renew infrastructure

$500 million for community recreation facilities

$1 billion for “ready-to-go” infrastructure projects under the Provincial Territorial Base Funding initiative

$515 million for “ready-to-go” First Nations schools, water and community service projects.

$500 million for infrastructure in small communities.

$323 million for restoring federally owned buildings.

$87 million for Arctic research facilities

$250 million for federal laboratories

$500 million to extend use of electronic health records

$225 million to extend broadband coverage.

The Budget also assigned funds for specific federal infrastructure projects, including:

$407 million for the VIA Rail Canada improvements.

$130 million to Parks Canada for twinning the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park.

$212 million to renew the Champlain Bridge in Montreal.

$217 million for the Pangnirtung Harbour in Nunavut and to repair small craft harbours across Canada

$14.5 million for two U.S. border bridges – the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia and Peace Bridge in Fort Erie.

Projects on the boards that the government wants to accelerate with funding from the existing Building Canada Fund were named.  These include highway and bridge projects in the maritime provinces, road and water and sewer upgrades throughout the province of Quebec, the revitalization of Union Station in Toronto, Centreport Project at Inland Port in Winnipeg, the Telus World of Science in Calgary, and the Evergreen transit line in Vancouver.

As well, the government will provide $1 billion over five years for the Green Infrastructure Fund to support sustainable energy projects, etc.

For more details, see



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