ACEC Hosts Teleconference Briefing with Infrastructure Minister John Baird
On May 20, ACEC organized a conference call for members with Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird in order to update members on the details surrounding the federal stimulus package and oth...
On May 20, ACEC organized a conference call for members with Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird in order to update members on the details surrounding the federal stimulus package and other related infrastructure programs. The Minister was very open and forthright in his responses to the questions submitted by ACEC members.
Some of the information provided by Minister Baird included:
• The requirement that municipalities must have projects that are funded out of the stimulus fund completed by March 31, 2011 will remain. If a municipality wishes funding for a project that requires more time, it can apply under other federal infrastructure programs under the Building Canada Fund. If a municipality does not complete stimulus-related projects by March 2011, the Minister hinted that there may be a penalty.
• Approved project information and lists will be made available on the Infrastructure Canada website. The government is also required to submit a report to Parliament by June detailing progress on implementation of the stimulus measures.
• The government is doing every- thing it can to accelerate project selection and approval. Infrastructure Canada is refraining from dictating to provinces or municipalities such details as procurement policy (including utilization of Qualifications Based Selection), financing methods, etc., as it feels that would slow down the approval processes.
• Stimulus funding is a one-shot deal – -although the federal government will continue to fund infrastructure, the $12 billion in stimulus related funding will not be a repeated program — the government does not want to run a structural deficit of that nature.
• For municipal projects submitted thus far, municipalities have come forth with their share of funding.
• The federal government will hold municipalities and provinces accountable for how money is spent to ensure that infrastructure money is in fact being used for infrastructure purposes.
An audio recording of the full teleconference briefing will be made available on the ACEC website at www.acec.ca