Details On Stimulus-Related Infrastructure Investment Unveiled
On April 7, the Hon. John Baird, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, along with Jean Perrault, Mayor of Sherbrooke and President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, issued...
On April 7, the Hon. John Baird, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, along with Jean Perrault, Mayor of Sherbrooke and President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, issued a joint letter to municipal councils across the country updating them on the status of the stimulus-related infrastructure investments announced in the 2009 Budget, as well as prior infrastructure announcements contained in previous Budgets. Among the key developments are:
• Confirmation that the federal Gas Tax Fund doubled as of April 1, 2009 from $1 billion nationally to $2 billion.
• Parliament approved changes to the Navigable Water Protection Act so as to accelerate infrastructure approvals.
• Several funding programs announced in the 2007 Budget under the Building Canada program will be accelerated.
• With regard to the 2009 stimulus-related funding, the focus of project selection will be on those projects that are shovel-ready, and that can be completed by March 31, 2011.
• Given the short time frame, rehabilitation of existing assets will predominate in terms of project selection, but new construction that can be completed in a two-year window will also be considered.
• Projects should be incremental to existing capital projects (i. e. they could not be completed were it not for the new stimulus money).
• In the municipal sector, eligible projects can include water/wastewater, transit, roads and bridges, parks and trails, solid waste, culture, and community and social services.
• Included in the stimulus package is a $1 billion fund for green infrastructure. Projects under this fund will be built over a five year timeframe, and can include projects such as the generation and transmission of clean energy, carbon capture and storage, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management. Because of the longer time frame, these projects will likely be larger, more strategic projects.
Municipal councils are being asked now to submit lists of proposed projects so that approvals can be provided in a timely manner, and work can begin this construction season. ACEC will closely monitor the implementation of the stimulus-related investments, and inform ACEC members of developments associated with the program.