Ontario Construction Careers Alliance
Government Funding
Stable Funding For Canada's Infrastructure

The Federal government provides funding for highways and municipal infrastructure through a number of programs. The Building Canada Plan is a program that will provide $33 billion over seven years to Canadian municipalities for infrastructure development. Priorities will includeroads, bridges, water and wastewater, public transit and a cleaner environment.

Within the Building Canada Plan is the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Program which focuseson major projects such as the National Highway Systems that will increase the productivity, economic efficiency, and any safety of Canada's surface transportation system. Sewer and waterinfrastructure are another key priority of the program. The federal Border Infrastructure fundprovides federal assistance for major border crossings such as the Peace, Ambassador and BlueWater bridges linking Ontario with U.S. trading partners.

Federal gas tax transfers provide $2 billion annually providing municipalities with stable fundingforinfrastructure priorities. By 2014 Ontario municipalities will have received over $4.8 billion.

The Ontario government plans and funds infrastructure development through the Renew Ontario program. This $60-billion-plus, 10-year plan targets upgrading of Ontario's infrastructure in priority areas such as roads, bridges, transit, health care and education. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation's capital budget in 2009-10 is $1.7 billion for rehabilitation and expansion of theprovince's highways and bridges, as well as work on small airports. Construction projects plannedover the next five years are documented in the Northern Ontario Highways Capital Plan and the Southern Ontario Highways Capital Plan. The Ontario government provides 2 cents per litre of the provincial gasoline tax to municipalitiesfor public transit development. The 2009 Ontario budget earmarked $9 billion over two years tokick-start an ambitious Greater Toronto Area transportation plan created by Metrolinx. Immediate projects will include extension of subway and light rail lines and increased capacity for GO Transit.

The Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund's (COMRIF) is a program that assists smaller municipalities with improving their local infrastructures. It will deliver up to $1 billion in funding over five years, shared equally by the three levels of government. The focus of the fundingis on economic development, clean drinking water, and safer roads and bridges, all under an umbrella objective of improving the environment.

'Alternate financing' models are already leveraging private sector funding for social infrastructure such as hospital and school construction in Ontario. The private sector is now being engaged tofinance civil infrastructure as well and the first example will be the Windsor-Essex Gateway project that will deliver a $1.6-billion access road from Highway 401 to the Ambassador bridge. Construction will begin in 2010 and close behind will be billions more dollars of infrastructure investment in a new bridge and truck plazas on both sides of the border.