Government releases largest infrastructure plan
Thursday, Mar 06, 2014 11:08 am
Canada is turning the page on the global recession. It’s happening in real time, right now.
In January, our country gained nearly 30,000 net new jobs, well above market expectations, according to Statistics Canada. Canada has added more than one million net new jobs since the depths of the global recession; the best job creation record of any G-7 country.
In early February, our government confirmed that the federal budget will be balanced in 2015, with a $6.4 billion surplus expected in 2015-16.
This will be accomplished without job-killing tax increases; in fact average Canadian family of four now pays $3,400 less in taxes than in 2006.
Clearly, Canada is a country on the move.
Our government believes now is the time to consolidate these gains and lay the foundation for a new era of economic prosperity. To that end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced the largest federal infrastructure plan in Canadian History.
The New Building Canada Plan will provide $53 billion in stable funding for provincial and municipal infrastructure over the next decade, focusing on projects that enhance economic growth, job creation and productivity.
As a trading nation, we are always searching for ways to get goods to market more efficiently. To continue our progress, we need to connect Canadians and our businesses to the world. Just as importantly, we need to reduce commuting times so families can spend more time together.
Through the New Building Canada Plan, expected to launch this spring, you can expect construction of better and safer roads, bridges, subways, commuter rail and other public infrastructure.
The plan includes a $32-billion Community Improvement Fund, continuing the Gas Tax Fund and GST rebate for municipalities.
It also includes a $14-billion New Building Canada Fund. Of this, $1 billion is specifically set aside for smaller communities like ours, which have fewer than 100,000 residents.
In addition, our plan includes $1.25 billion for the Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Canada Fund, and $6 billion in funding that is already at work in our communities under existing infrastructure programs.
Our government understands that infrastructure is the backbone of our country’s economic productivity. By building within balanced budgets, we are making a commitment that Canadians will be able to realize new opportunities, and continue building our country for years to come.