Federal Government Infrastructure Investment Announcements

Since the start of 2021, there have been several announcements by the federal government and its various departments and agencies on activities that directly impact the consulting engineering industry. These have included major funding statements, infrastructure program updates and other related news. ACEC-Canada offers this high-level overview of recent announcements. Stay tuned to Source newsletter to receive future updates on the federal government’s infrastructure investment programs and activities. 
Innovative Rural Transit Announcement  
On March 29, the federal government announced a new fund dedicated to transit solutions in rural communities. This fund invests $250 million over five years to help address the transit needs of Canadians living in rural, remote and small communities. The Government of Canada states that they are committed to working with these communities to develop rural transit solutions such as on-demand services, publicly owned electric vehicle ride shares, and volunteer community car-pooling. 
Investment in the Gas Tax Fund 
On March 25, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced a proposed additional $2.2 billion to the federal Gas Tax Fund in Bill C-25. If passed by Parliament, this would double the investment in the Fund and give municipalities more agility and flexibility to get these funds into communities. 
Auditor General’s Report on the Investing in Canada Plan  
On March 25, the Auditor General of Canada released a report on the Investing in Canada Plan that concluded that Infrastructure Canada and key federal organizations could not demonstrate that the Investing in Canada Plan was on track to meet its expected results and objectives. It was also noted that horizontal reporting framework was incomplete, mainly because it did not include legacy programs. Finally, the Auditor General highlighted that federal organizations were spending Investing in Canada Plan funding more slowly than planned.
National Infrastructure Assessment
On March 16, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities announced a consultation process on the first National Infrastructure Assessment that was announced in the federal government’s climate plan and highlighted as a priority in her mandate letter. This consultation is open until June 30 and invites the public, Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories, municipalities, and stakeholders on three main priorities of the assessment:
Assessing Canada’s infrastructure needs and establishing a long-term vision;
Improving coordination among infrastructure owners and funders; and
Determining the best ways to fund and finance infrastructure.
These priorities are outlined in an engagement paper that was published with the launch of the consultation titled Building the Canada We Want in 2050: Engagement Paper on the National Infrastructure Assessment. The federal government has stated that following the conclusion of the consultation of June 30, next steps will be determined such as forming independent advisory body, setting out the processes for obtaining expert advice, ongoing public engagement and producing interim studies and reports to inform infrastructure policy and investment.
Investment in Public Transit 
On February 10, the federal government announced an investment of $14.9 billion for public transit projects over the next eight years, which includes permanent funding of $3 billion per year for Canadian communities beginning in 2026-27. 
For a full list of funding announcements, please visit Infrastructure Canada and the Government of Canada websites.