Expanded infrastructure program offers new support for COVID-19 community resilience in British Columbia
North Vancouver, British Columbia, August 6, 2020 – Canada’s communities are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and need immediate help as they adjust their public infrastructure priorities to our new reality. As part of continuing decisive action to address the pandemic, the Government of Canada supports building up modern, efficient and sustainable public infrastructure that ensures the health and safety of our communities, stabilizes our economy and provides access to essential services for all Canadians.
Today, the Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced that British Columbia now has the option to allocate up to $412,968,016, representing 10% of its total allocation under the Investing in Canada infrastructure program, towards projects under a new COVID Resilience funding stream. This follows the announcement on July 30 by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, of changes to the program to help address the current health crisis through quick-start, short-term projects.
Whether upgrading hospitals, long-term care homes and schools to deal with social distancing requirements, building new parks, cycling and walking paths to help Canadians stay healthy, active and safe, or supporting disaster mitigation projects that protect against floods and fires, these changes will help get more infrastructure projects underway faster, while continuing to support our long-term goals of building sustainable, economically vibrant, low-carbon, and inclusive communities.
Projects under the new stream will be eligible for a significantly larger federal cost share – up to 80 per cent for provinces, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations in provinces, and raising it to 100 per cent for remote, northern and territorial projects designated under the new stream. In addition to the new time-limited stream, a simplified application process for funding will ensure that projects can get underway as soon as possible.
These changes will benefit communities of all sizes, including rural Canada. Rural and remote communities will have access to funding for mobile and cellular projects, for example, ensuring that the most urgent and needed projects are prioritized with a higher federal cost-share.
“Communities across British Columbia are on the frontlines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. This flexible infrastructure funding will make it easier to build projects that will allow people to safely stay active outdoors and ensure safety measures exist at places like schools, long-term care facilities and hospitals. Fighting this pandemic has been, and will continue to be, a Team Canada effort to keep everyone safe – and that’s what today’s announcement is all about.”
– The Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
To support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the over $33-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure program now includes a new stream to directly address the pandemic, new eligible project categories, and faster approvals.
The COVID-19 Resilience Stream will help other orders of governments whose finances have been significantly impacted by the pandemic by increasing the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects to 80% in the provinces, and funding 100% of the cost of projects in the territories and for projects with Indigenous recipients.
To be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Resilience stream, the project’s eligible costs must be under $10 million, construction must be started no later than September 30, 2021, and it must be completed by the end of 2021 (or by the end of 2022 in the territories and in remote communities).
The Investing in Canada Infrastructure program is delivered through bilateral agreements with all provinces and territories to make unprecedented investments in public infrastructure.
Funding delivered through the federal Gas Tax Fund was accelerated this year to provide $2.2 billion in one payment in June to help communities quickly move forward with infrastructure projects that will stabilize local economies.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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