Feds announce $10 billion infrastructure plan for green projects, agriculture, broadband internet

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

The federal government last week announced a $10 billion commitment for new major infrastructure initiatives to create jobs and economic growth.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s (CIB) Growth Plan, saying it will help Canadians get back to work and create up to 60,000 jobs across the country.

“By investing in infrastructure, we are strengthening our communities and ensuring good jobs for today and in the future,” Trudeau said. “We will continue to do what it takes to support Canadians through this crisis, safely get our economy back up and running, and get people back to work.”

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.
  • $1.5 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure so Canadians can have cleaner commutes.

Another $500 million will pay for project development and early construction works.

“Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds stronger communities,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of infrastructure and communities.

“The Canada Infrastructure Bank is critical to expanding Canada’s ambition by bringing in the private sector to get more infrastructure built. The Bank’s $10-billion Growth Plan, focused on investments in broadband, clean energy, retrofits and agricultural irrigation, will create 60,000 jobs, grow the economy and help build a low-carbon future.”

The CIB was announced as part of the Government of Canada’s historic, over $180 billion Investing in Canada Plan. It was created to work in partnership with provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous partners, and leverage the private sector, to build infrastructure across Canada.

The goal is to attract private sector and institutional investment to build sustainable infrastructure projects that are in the public interest.

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