Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced $10 billion in new major infrastructure initiatives to create jobs and economic growth.
The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s (CIB’s) Growth Plan will help Canadians get back to work and is expected to create approximately 60,000 jobs across the country. The three-year plan will connect more households and small businesses to high-speed Internet, strengthen Canadian agriculture, and help build a low-carbon economy.
The Growth Plan will invest in five major initiatives:
- $2.5 billion for clean power to support renewable generation and storage and to transmit clean electricity between provinces, territories, and regions, including to northern and Indigenous communities;
- $2 billion to connect approximately 750,000 homes and small businesses to broadband in underserved communities, so Canadians can better participate in the digital economy;
- $2 billion to invest in large-scale building retrofits to increase energy efficiency and help make communities more sustainable;
- $1.5 billion for agriculture irrigation projects to help the agriculture sector enhance production, strengthen Canada’s food security, and expand export opportunities; and
- $1.5 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure so Canadians can have cleaner commutes.
To accelerate the delivery of projects in which the CIB intends to invest, it will also allocate $500 million for project development and early construction works.
This announcement is part of the government’s campaign to create over one million jobs to rebuild from the pandemic, and their more than $180-billion commitment to invest in new infrastructure across Canada.
The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) is generally pleased with the $10 billion earmarked for new major initiatives, but is calling for more focused investment on state-of-good repair projects which are required in almost every community across Canada.
“We welcome this Growth Plan as it is a necessary step to the economic recovery of Canada,” said Andy Manahan, RCCAO executive director. “Building more resilient infrastructure and expanding broadband to underserved communities are worthwhile initiatives. We are hopeful that today’s announcement will be accompanied by other bold infrastructure investment measures.”
RCCAO is encouraging CIB to work diligently in getting the funding out the door as quickly as possible so constructors can take advantage of whatever good weather there is for infrastructure work.
This announcement is a bold step toward a green recovery, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) said in a press release.
“This investment has the power to kickstart the green economy, and meaningfully lower carbon emissions,” said Thomas Mueller, CaGBC president. “Our members and stakeholders in the green building industry are prepared to deliver the low-carbon, energy-efficient retrofits that will help Canada reach its climate targets, create jobs, and build healthier, more resilient communities.”