Canadian government pledges billions for buildings and infrastructure
Consulting engineers can hope that their order books will benefit following Prime Minister Stephen Harper's announcement that it will spend $5.8 billion on infrastructure over the next three years.
Consulting engineers can hope that their order books will benefit following Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement that it will spend $5.8 billion on infrastructure over the next three years.
The prime minister made the announcement during a visit to London, Ontario on Monday, November 24.
The investment, he said, will be in areas such as heritage, First Nations education, defence, borders, research facilities, harbours, transportation and search and rescue. A good chunk also goes to repairing and upgrading federal buildings and research facilities.
The list includes:
– $2.8 billion to support infrastructure improvements to heritage, tourism, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas;
– $500 million for the repair and construction of on-reserve schools. (The Assembly of First Nations said the investment falls short of their needs.)
– $452 million to repair and upgrade Canadian Armed Forces facilities;
– $440 million to expedite the replacement of border infrastructure;
– Approximately $400 million to maintain, upgrade and construct federally-owned buildings and other assets across Canada;
– $380 million for upgrading federal laboratories and research facilities;
$288 million for repair and maintenance of small craft harbours;
$204 million to support enhancements to federally-owned and operated airports as well as improvements to VIA Rail’s infrastructure;
$191 million to undertake renewal and repairs of heritage and museum sites; and,
$183 million for the repair and procurement of vessels and small craft for the Canadian Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support search and rescue, science, and conservation.
Liberal and NDP critics said that some of the money was already announced in the last federal budget.
The Harper government said: “Investments in this critical infrastructure are a key element in our efforts to create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. Amongst other purposes, our infrastructure allows people and goods to move more freely and safely across the country, supports scientific innovation, and protects Canada’s legendary natural heritage.”