Government of Canada announces first federal fund for cycling paths and trails across the country

News release

Ottawa, Ontario, March 12, 2021 – Investing in public transit strengthens communities, helps Canadians get around in faster, cleaner and more affordable ways, and ensures good jobs today while charting a path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Investing in pathways and trails for cycling, walking, hybrid e-bikes and scooters, and wheelchairs gives everyone the opportunity to get out, get active, and access public transportation.

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Parliamentary Secretary Andy Fillmore announced $400 million over five years to help build new and expanded networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges. This is the first federal fund dedicated to building active transportation through Canada – powered by people – and part of the Government of Canada’s plan to create one million jobs, fight climate change, and build a more sustainable and resilient economy.

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested in almost 650 kilometres of active transportation trails, bike and pedestrian lanes, and recreational paths. Projects include the Grouse Mountain Regional Park trails in North Vancouver, the Flora Foot Bridge in Ottawa, a bikeway extension in Corner Brook, and a new cycling path along the Mine, Notch and Kingsmere corridor in Chelsea, Quebec. As we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will expand these smart investments that support Canadians.

The new $400-million fund is part of an eight-year, $14.9-billion public transit investment outlined by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister McKenna on February 10, 2021. It will support communities as they build vibrant neighborhoods where people can safely live, work and play. The fund will also help Canadians living in rural communities and places without active transportation options to unlock the potential in their communities.

In addition to this new fund, Minister McKenna and Parliamentary Secretary Fillmore also launched stakeholder engagement for Canada’s first Active Transportation Strategy. The strategy will be informed by input from the public and key stakeholders including provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit organizations and businesses and will help the federal government make smarter 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. 

Investing in active transportation will build strong communities across the country and deliver a better quality of life for all Canadians. Safe pathways and trails that connect to public transit will provide Canadians with more commuting options that reduce emissions and protect the environment. Together, we are building a cleaner, inclusive, and resilient country for generations to come.

Quotes

"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 Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Today is a great day in Canada for climate action, human health, and livable communities. With the launch of the fund for active transportation with support for an Active Transportation Strategy, the path is set for more Canadians than ever to choose cycling, rolling or walking as safe and enjoyable alternatives to motorized transport. Today is the day we put active transportation networks within reach of every community.”

—Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities 

“Vélo Canada Bikes and active transportation supporters across Canada are absolutely thrilled that such a significant investment in active transportation has been made. Today’s federal investment in active transportation infrastructure will lead to significant health, environmental, social, and economic benefits for our country.”

—Kate Walker, Vice-chair of the Board, Vélo Canada Bikes

Quick facts

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $130 million in 126 active transportation projects through the Investing in Canada plan.t. In addition, hundreds more infrastructure projects funded by the Government of Canada have included components that promote active transportation.

  • As part of the Strengthened Climate Plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government 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.

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Contacts

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-941-0660
chantalle.aubertin@canada.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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