Minister Wilkinson, Mayor Stewart and Mayor Buchanan announce first-ever federal fund for cycling paths and trails
March 12, 2021 – Vancouver, British Columbia
Investing in more active transportation options, like walking paths and bike lanes, will make it easier for British Columbians to get around, and it will clean the air that we breathe, support vibrant economies, and create healthier communities. That is why, in Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government of Canada committed to supporting more active transportation options across the country.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, highlighted that the Government of Canada will invest $400 million in a first-ever federal fund to support new and expanded networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges, as well as repairs and planning studies across the country.
The fund is part of the Government of Canada’s recent investment of $14.9-billion in public transit and active transit. The federal government also launched stakeholder engagement on Canada’s first-ever Active Transportation Strategy today, as was committed to in A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. The strategy will be informed by input from the public and stakeholders including provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit organizations and businesses. It will help the federal government make smart investment decisions to:
- Support the active transportation networks of the future;
- Promote healthier, walkable communities that are environmentally sustainable and affordable; and
- Support better data collection to ensure measurable outcomes.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $3 million in active transportation projects in British Columbia, including more than $1.3 million for trail and amenity improvements at the Grouse Grind trail.
Over the past year, many Canadians have rediscovered the benefits that active transportation brings to their health and well-being. In the short-term, investments in public transit and active transit will stimulate the economy through job creation in construction and manufacturing. In the long-term, they will increase productivity, and are a critical tool in the fight against climate change. That is why we’re delivering on our commitment to providing Canadians, including British Columbians, with more active transportation options today.
“By providing British Columbians with more active transportation options, like walking paths and bike lanes, we are supporting healthier communities across the province of B.C. Active transportation benefits our health and well-being, creates cleaner air and supports good jobs. Investments like today’s will help ensure that we continue to meet the environmental goals and economic ambitions of Canadians at the same time.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Canadians love using safe cycling paths and trails to get around their towns and cities. It’s a great way to stay healthy, enjoy nature, and connect to public transit, and it is good for the environment. This investment will make it easier for more people to get around on foot, bikes, scooters, wheelchairs and e-bikes. This is the first national project of its kind in Canada.”
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Dedicating $400 million in funding for active transportation is big news for Vancouver and our plan to accelerate construction of green infrastructure that helps residents walk, roll, and bike while lowering our greenhouse gas emissions. Already, less than half of the trips people make in Vancouver use private automobiles, and over 35% use active transport. This dedicated fund will help us get to the next step of seeing two-thirds of trips made in Vancouver be active. As someone who believes strongly in city building and creating a Vancouver that works for everyone, I can’t wait to put these dollars to use and help improve people’s quality of life, reach our climate targets, and create green jobs all at the same time.”
– Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver
“We all want to move safely, efficiently, and sustainably through our community. Today’s announcement is an incredible step forward that will support new investments in people-oriented infrastructure that will expand the walkability of communities and improve the health and wellness of Canadians.”
– Linda Buchanan, Mayor of the City of North Vancouver
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $3 million in active transportation projects in British Columbia.
The City of Vancouver invested in 325 kilometres of new bike paths and encouraged cycling and transit use by changing zoning laws. This boosted public transportation, including active transportation, to 54% of trips last year.
As part of Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government of Canada announced its intention to develop Canada’s first Active Transportation Strategy and explore options to deliver more walking trails, cycling paths and other forms of active mobility. A framework has been developed to support stakeholder engagement on the development of a strategy.
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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