Effective Federal Infrastructure Program

Year: 2009


Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA urge the federal government to reconsider the criteria for infrastructure programs such that funds be distributed on a per capita basis not on an application basis ensuring that funds flow to shovelready projects in time for the 2009 construction season. Be it further resolved that the SUMA Board of Directors meet with Saskatchewan’s government Members of Parliament to push for a more effective federal infrastructure program.

Federal Response

Response: An action plan is designed to accelerate infrastructure investments under the Building Canada plan. Streamlining the regulatory and environmental approvals process to avoid unnecessary overlap and duplication, and accelerating projects where provinces and territories are in agreement. Expanding payments under the $25 million per year Provincial/Territorial Base funding initiative by making future years’ payment s available to provinces and territories that can show the ability to put these funds to work quickly. This will make up to $1 billon available to the provinces and territories if they can match funding for eligible initiatives. Since the federal budget, over $115 million has flowed to the provinces and territories for infrastructure projects. Acceleration approvals for small and large projects under Building Canada. Since the budget, we have approved close to 500 projects worth over $1.5 billion in small communities. We are working expeditious with the Government of Saskatchewan to ensure that funding under the Communities Component flows quickly. In addition Budget 2009 contains significant new infrastructure investments designed to provide economic stimulus. The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund ($4 billion), which will provide per-capita funding to provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure projects. Funding will be available for two years for projects begun and completed during the 2009 and 2010 construction seasons. The Green Infrastructure Fund ($1 billion), which will provide funding for the construction of new sustainable energy infrastructure and other green projects over five years. The Building Canada Communities Component, which has been increased by $500 million over the next two years for projects that can be completed by 2011. The Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund provides targeted support to small communities. Under the Bridge Canada Fund which operates through the Mayor Infrastructure Component and the Communities Component, funding is initially allocated to provinces and territories based on their population. Unlike the Gas Tax Fund, however, the Building Canada Fund contains no per capita population based funding formula for individual municipalities. Projects under the Major Infrastructure Component will be selected based on merit and through a federal-provincial negotiation process, while projects falling within the Communities Component will be selected through an application-based process. Projects selected under both the Major Infrastructure Component and the Communities Component are evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the environmental, economic and quality of life objectives. Since Budget 2009, the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have announced 74 projects totaling more than $72 million in federal contributions under the Building Canada Fund Communities Component The deadline for receiving applications closed on May 15, 2009. All project applications continue to be evaluated and further announcements are expected.

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