Chapter 2 – Communities Built for Change

Canada in 10 Years

The investments in infrastructure we make today will pay dividends for years to come: delivering clean, sustained economic growth; building stronger, more inclusive communities; and creating more good, middle class jobs for Canadians.

By investing in infrastructure now—in the projects Canada needs and the women and men who can build them—we can strengthen and grow the middle class and make Canada an even better place to call home.

What will these investments deliver for Canadians and their communities?

Within 10 years, Canadian cities will be home to world class public transit systems—so that people can get to work on time, and back home quickly at the end of a long day.

Our communities will also be cleaner, and less reliant on sources of energy that pollute the air, harm the environment and compromise Canadians' health. In Canada's smart cities, traffic lights will adapt to ease congestion and speed up the flow of people and goods, and buildings will conserve more energy (and some will help to produce it, with wider adoption of solar technologies).

Better-connected communities will make it easier to adapt to shifting patterns in trade. Canada's resources and manufactured goods will make their way to global markets through better ports and airports, and on roads and rail lines that connect our cities with our rural communities, especially in the north. Services will flow through faster, more reliable digital networks.

Ten years from now, thanks to an economy that works for everyone, more Canadians will have a real and fair chance at success. Hard-working Canadians will be able to find good, affordable places to live, with affordable child care and better support as they age.

This is the brighter future that all Canadians deserve.

Canada's success has always been rooted in the ambition and hard work of the middle class and those working hard to join it.

The efforts of the middle class helped to build a better country—one that connected Canadians to each other, and communities from coast to coast to coast.

Generations of Canadian families built the roads we drive on, and the rail lines that get us to work and get Canada's goods to market. The hard work of Canadians built the ports that make trade possible, and helped give our most vulnerable citizens safe and welcoming places to live.

In recent years, our understanding of infrastructure has expanded. It now includes things like the Internet—a way to share ideas and connect with others that has transformed the way we live, work and play.

It includes green infrastructure—the projects that will give more Canadian families access to safe water, and help Canadian communities plan for the challenges that come with a changing climate.

And it includes the social infrastructure that makes our communities feel like home—things like affordable housing, high-quality, affordable child care, and cultural infrastructure like community centres, museums, parks and arenas.

In its 150th year since Confederation, Canada needs to approach the future with a renewed sense of confidence, optimism and ambition.

The world is changing. How, when and where Canadians work continues to evolve, economies around the world are exchanging old ways of doing things for clean growth, and digital technologies connect people and communities in ways that were hard to imagine just a generation ago.

Confident, optimistic and ambitious countries embrace progress for women and men, and invest in their own future. It's time for Canada to do that once again.

Investing to Create Jobs and Build Strong Communities

Recognizing the urgent need to build strong communities, create jobs and grow the economy, the Government took swift action. Budget 2016 laid out the Government's plan to make historic investments in public transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure.

Phase 1 of Canada's New Infrastructure Plan

Phase 1 of the Government's infrastructure plan included $11.9 billion to be invested over five years, starting in 2016:

  • $3.4 billion over three years to upgrade and improve public transit systems across Canada.
  • $5.0 billion over five years for investments in water, wastewater and green infrastructure projects across Canada.
  • $3.4 billion over five years for social infrastructure, including affordable housing, early learning and child care, cultural and recreational infrastructure, and community health care facilities on-reserve.

These early investments, together with other measures announced in Budget 2016, have already begun to make a difference in communities across Canada. As of March 8, 2017:

The Government's Phase 1 investments, along with other measures announced in Budget 2016, will help create or maintain an estimated 100,000 jobs, including jobs in project planning and management, engineering and construction.

Building on these historic investments, the Fall Economic Statement committed an additional $81 billion in infrastructure investments, starting in 2017–18. These additional investments underscore the Government's commitment to long-term growth for the middle class, with targeted investments that will build strong communities, create jobs and grow the economy. Taking into account existing infrastructure programs and new investments made through Budget 2016 and the Fall Economic Statement, the Government is making investments of over $180 billion in modern, resilient neighbourhoods and communities.

Budget 2017 expands on the commitments made in Budget 2016 and the Fall Economic Statement. To strengthen and grow the middle class, the Government proposes to:

What Success Will Look Like

  • Shorter commute times and more efficient, better-integrated transit.
  • High-speed Internet in more rural and remote communities.
  • Smart cities that are more livable, offer cleaner air and make it easier to get around.
  • Clean drinking water for every Canadian, no matter where they live.
  • More safe and affordable homes for Canadian families, and fewer people living in substandard housing.
  • Better housing for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
  • More child care spaces, and greater career flexibility for parents with young children.

Measuring Success

The Government is committed to an evidence-based approach to decision-making and will be implementing new approaches to measure the impact of its infrastructure investments.

The Government's data strategies will include:

  • A data initiative led by the Canada Infrastructure Bank to improve knowledge on the state of municipal and provincial infrastructure.
  • $241 million over 11 years for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to improve data collection and analytics, expand housing research with partners, and demonstrate and test new design solutions to affordable housing challenges, including in actual housing projects.
  • $39.9 million to Statistics Canada to develop and implement a new Housing Statistics Framework, which will be a nationwide database of all properties in Canada, providing information on purchases and sales, the degree of foreign ownership, homeowner demographics and financing characteristics.
  • $50 million for Transport Canada to enhance the collection and analysis of transportation and trade-related data to help target investments, support innovation and track results.

Encouraging Innovation With the Smart Cities Challenge

Canadians who live in urban communities face many challenges, from traffic congestion that takes time away from family and friends to poor-quality air that can make it difficult to enjoy all that cities have to offer.

Smart infrastructure investments can help to address current problems while helping Canada's cities prepare for the challenges ahead.

To encourage cities to adopt new and innovative approaches to city-building, the Government proposes to provide Infrastructure Canada with $300 million over 11 years to launch a Smart Cities Challenge Fund.

Modelled on a similar competition in the U.S., the Smart Cities Challenge would invite cities across Canada to develop Smart Cities Plans, together with local government, citizens, businesses and civil society.

Participants will create ambitious plans to improve the quality of life for urban residents, through better city planning and implementation of clean, digitally connected technology including greener buildings, smart roads and energy systems, and advanced digital connections for homes and businesses.

Winning cities will be selected through a nationwide, merit-based competition, facilitated by the Government's new Impact Canada Fund (see Chapter 1).

To accelerate innovation further, infrastructure and transportation will also be eligible sectors under the Government's commitment to support business-led innovation "superclusters" that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth (see Chapter 1).

Delivering Results With the Canada Infrastructure Bank

In its 2016 Fall Economic Statement, the Government announced plans to establish a new Canada Infrastructure Bank, an arm's-length organization that will work with provincial, territorial, municipal, Indigenous and private sector investment partners to transform the way infrastructure is planned, funded and delivered in Canada.

Leveraging the expertise and capital of the private sector, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will provide better results for middle class Canadians. Public dollars will go farther and be used more strategically, maximizing opportunities to create the good, well-paying jobs needed to grow the middle class now, and strengthen Canada's economy over the long term.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will be responsible for investing at least $35 billion over 11 years, using loans, loan guarantees and equity investments. These investments will be made strategically, with a focus on large, transformative projects such as regional transit plans, transportation networks and electricity grid interconnections.

Accelerated Implementation

To ensure that funds can begin to be invested in a timely manner, the Government will soon propose legislation establishing the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

The Government will begin a process to identify the Bank's Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, with the goal of having the Canada Infrastructure Bank operational in late 2017.

Better Decisions Through Better Data

To help municipalities better track, collect, use and share the data needed to measure the impact of infrastructure investments, the Government of Canada and the Canada Infrastructure Bank will work in partnership with provinces, territories, municipalities and Statistics Canada to undertake an ambitious data initiative on Canadian infrastructure.

The data initiative will help all levels of government by providing intelligence to better direct infrastructure investments, and will support efforts to:

Further details on the initiative will be announced in the coming months.

Building Strong Communities With Public Transit

The benefits of public transit—shorter commute times, less air pollution, more time with family and friends, and stronger economic growth—are well understood. So too is the cost of inaction; the gridlock that results from traffic congestion costs Canada's economy billions of dollars in lost productivity every year.

Through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, Budget 2016 focused on making immediate investments of $3.4 billion over three years, to upgrade and improve public transit systems across Canada.

To support the next phase of ambitious public transit projects, the Government will invest $20.1 billion over 11 years through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, with provincial and territorial allocations determined using a formula based on ridership (70 per cent) and population (30 per cent). This funding will make it possible for Canadian communities to build the new urban transit networks and service extensions that will transform the way that Canadians live, move and work.

To ensure that public transit dollars are invested in a way that makes the most sense for Canada's diverse communities, the Government is working closely with provinces and territories—partnerships that are already bringing positive change to Canadian communities.

In addition, the new Canada Infrastructure Bank will play a role in defining and building public transit infrastructure in Canada. As part of its mandate to structure, negotiate and deliver federal support for infrastructure projects with revenue-generating potential, the Bank will invest at least $5 billion in public transit systems.

Ambitious transit projects are expected to transform Canada's cities over the next decade:

Creating Canada's Clean Growth Economy

A clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand—Canadians understand this, and the Government agrees. Across the country, Canadians are working hard to build a new, clean economy, for themselves and for their children and grandchildren.

This is the smart thing to do, and the right thing to do for Canada's economy. Around the world, markets are changing. Industries are moving away from products and services that create carbon pollution and turning to cleaner and more sustainable options. Canada has an opportunity to create a world-leading clean economy, and the investments outlined in Budget 2017 will help to deliver on that goal.

To ensure that Canada's communities are healthy and productive places to live, Budget 2016 included investments of $5.0 billion over five years in infrastructure that protects communities and supports Canada's ongoing transition to a clean growth economy.

The 2016 Fall Economic Statement announced the Government's investment of $21.9 billion over 11 years to support green infrastructure, including through targeted investments by the new Canada Infrastructure Bank.

In addition to these financial commitments, the Government has taken steps to position Canada as a true leader in clean growth:

To advance Canada's efforts to build a clean economy, Budget 2017 lays out the Government's plan to invest $21.9 billion in green infrastructure, including initiatives that will support the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Investments to support Canada's transition to a clean economy will flow through three distinct streams:

In particular, the Government proposes to invest the following national programs over the next 11 years:

Celebrating and Protecting Our Natural Heritage

Canada is known around the world for its vast expanses of protected natural areas, its magnificent natural scenery and a wealth of wildlife. The natural and cultural heritage Canadians enjoy enriches our communities, creates jobs and economic growth through tourism, and makes Canada a truly great place to live and raise a family.

This heritage is at its best and most beautiful in Canada's national parks. Recognized around the world and loved by those who visit and work in them, our 47 national parks and four national marine conservation areas are a source of real pride for Canadians. They belong to all of us.

Canada's Protected Areas

The Parks Canada Agency has created a system of protected areas across Canada. Work is underway to expand this system to contribute towards Canada's biodiversity targets to protect 17 per cent of land and inland waters, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine waters. They consist of:

National Parks

  • Aulavik
  • Auyuittuq
  • Banff
  • Bruce Peninsula
  • Cape Breton Highlands
  • Elk Island
  • Forillon
  • Fundy
  • Georgian Bay Islands
  • Glacier
  • Grasslands
  • Gros Morne
  • Ivvavik
  • Jasper
  • Kejimkujik
  • Kluane
  • Kootenay
  • Kouchibouguac
  • La Mauricie
  • Mount Revelstoke
  • Point Pelee
  • Prince Albert
  • Prince Edward Is.
  • Pukaskwa
  • Qausuittuq
  • Quttinirpaaq
  • Riding Mountain
  • Sirmilik
  • Terra Nova
  • Thousand Islands
  • Torngat Mountains
  • Tuktut Nogait
  • Ukkusiksalik
  • Vuntut
  • Wapusk
  • Waterton Lakes
  • Wood Buffalo
  • Yoho
  • Akami-Uapishku-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains
  • Gwaii Haanas
  • Kluane
  • Mingan Archipelago
  • Nááts'ihch'oh
  • Nahanni
  • Pacific Rim
  • Sable Island

National Urban Park

  • Rouge

National Marine Conservation Areas

  • Fathom Five
  • Gwaii Haanas
  • Lake Superior
  • Saguenay-St. Lawrence

The Government is advancing work to establish the new protected areas, including:

National Parks

  • Thaidene Nene
  • Manitoba Lowlands

National Marine Conservation Areas

  • Churchill/Nelson Rivers
  • Îles de la Madeleine
  • James Bay
  • Lancaster Sound
  • Southern Strait of Georgia

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation and is a chance for all Canadian families to get out, explore and discover the rich natural heritage that Canada has to offer. To make it more affordable for more Canadian families to visit and appreciate the outdoors, in 2017, admission to all national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites will be free.

Canada's system of protected areas is also an important part of local economies, directly contributing about $1.5 billion to Canada's gross domestic product while generating almost 22,700 jobs. Enjoyed by millions of Canadians and international visitors each year, they are iconic symbols of our Canadian identity and tell the stories of Canada's past, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous Peoples.

To ensure that visitors are able to enjoy Canada's national parks for years to come, Budget 2017 proposes to provide up to $364 million over two years on a cash basis, starting in 2018–19, to the Parks Canada Agency to continue its management of national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites. A medium- and long-term plan is under development to ensure ongoing support to these highly valued areas.

Rouge National Urban Park

Canada has introduced its newest and first-ever national urban park: Rouge National Urban Park. Located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), this new national urban park protects nature, culture and—for the first time in a nationally protected heritage area—some of the last remaining working farms in the GTA. Once the park's expansion is completed, Rouge National Urban Park will be the largest and most well-protected urban park of its kind in the world—22 times larger than New York's Central Park.

Protecting Canada's Biodiversity

The health and prosperity of Canadians is connected to the environment in which we live. As Canadians, we are blessed to live in a country that is home to:

  • 25 per cent of the world's temperate rainforests.
  • Approximately 30 per cent of the world's remaining boreal forest.
  • 24 per cent of the world's wetlands.
  • 7 per cent of the world's renewable freshwater.

Around the world biodiversity—the wide range of life in different ecosystems—is declining, threatening all life on the planet. In response, countries around the world are reaching or exceeding global conservation targets—but Canada has fallen behind.

It is time to lead once again. To protect Canada's biodiversity and ensure that future generations are able to live in a clean and safe world, Budget 2017 proposes to invest in Canada's national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites, complete the Trans Canada Trail, protect Canada's marine and freshwater ecosystems, and introduce measures to improve air quality for Canadians.

Completing the Trans Canada Trail

Canadians are fortunate to live in a country where we can enjoy its natural beauty while pursuing healthy, outdoor activities. The Trans Canada Trail is one of the world's longest networks of multi-use recreational trails, comprising land and water routes across urban, rural and wilderness landscapes. When completed, it will be the longest recreational trail in the world, stretching nearly 24,000 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic Oceans. The Trail connects people across the country, touching every provincial and territorial capital, and linking together 15,000 communities. Its vast network also makes it accessible—the Trail will be within 30 minutes of about 29 million Canadians. To complete, enhance and maintain the Trans Canada Trail, in partnership with the provinces and individual Canadians, Budget 2017 proposes to invest $30 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to be delivered through the Parks Canada Agency.

Protecting Canada's Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems

To ensure that future generations of Canadians have access to clean water, and to protect the sustainability of Canadian fisheries and the jobs they support, Budget 2017 proposes to develop water protection measures in co-operation with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners.

This includes introducing measures to protect 17 per cent of land and inland waters, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine waters, by addressing the persistent and growing threat of aquatic invasive species and toxic and nuisance algae, and focusing on preserving Canada's precious freshwater resources.

To prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species, respond rapidly to the detection of new species, and manage the spread of already established aquatic invasive species, Budget 2017 proposes to provide $43.8 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to continue and expand aquatic invasive species programming. This will better protect our waterways and preserve our fisheries, including in the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River Basin and the Lake Winnipeg Basin. Canada's efforts will help address the threats posed by such species as Asian carp and sea lamprey.

The Great Lakes alone represent 20 per cent of the world's supply of surface freshwater, and provide drinking water for more than 10 million Canadians, as well as 25 million Americans. Supporting clean freshwater is an utmost priority. To that end, Budget 2017 proposes to provide up to $70.5 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to Environment and Climate Change Canada to protect Canada's freshwater resources, including in the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg Basins. This investment will refocus efforts to reduce the release of toxic chemicals; pursue ongoing cross-government collaboration on improving water quality, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use; and improve collaboration with Indigenous Peoples.

Improving Air Quality for Canadians

Air pollution harms the environment and the health of Canadians. The Canadian Medical Association estimates that air pollution costs the Canadian economy billions of dollars each year due to premature deaths, hospital admissions, emergency room visits and absenteeism.

The Government is committed to working with provinces and territories to set stronger air quality standards, monitor emissions, and provide incentives for investments that lead to cleaner air and healthier communities. Budget 2017 proposes to provide up to $201 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and the National Research Council Canada to continue to take action to address air pollution and undertake activities such as indoor air pollution mitigation. This investment will support the implementation of the Air Quality Management System in cooperation with provinces and territories; help administer and enforce regulations; help make Canadians aware of strategies and tools to reduce exposure to air pollutants; and continue federal programming to address the health impacts of indoor air pollutants, including radon.

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

In the March 2016 Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Government, along with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners, agreed to work together to develop a concrete plan to achieve Canada's international climate change commitments.

As a first step, Budget 2016 provided almost $2.9 billion over five years, starting in 2016–17, to address climate change and air pollution. This included $2 billion over two years, starting in 2017–18, to establish the Low Carbon Economy Fund, which will support provincial and territorial actions that materially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are incremental to current plans, and achieve significant reductions toward meeting or exceeding Canada's national 2030 target. This $2 billion has now been adjusted to span five years, starting in 2017–18, following discussions with provinces and territories in the context of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Further details on the allocation of the Low Carbon Economy Fund will be announced in the near future.

At the First Ministers' Meeting on Clean Growth and Climate Change in December 2016, the Government, along with provinces and territories, worked with Indigenous partners and adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The Framework follows commitments made in the Vancouver Declaration of March 2016 and in the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change. It builds on provincial and territorial measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and identifies ways that governments, business and civil society can seize the many economic opportunities afforded by the global clean growth economy.

In Budget 2017, the Government is bolstering its historic investments in green infrastructure, public transit, and clean technology and innovation. These investments—along with additional actions that support the Framework—will help Canada to reach its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and ensure a safer, cleaner world for all Canadians.

Federal Carbon Pricing Backstop

The Framework includes a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution, with the aim of having carbon pricing in place in all provinces and territories by 2018. Provinces and territories have the flexibility to choose between two systems: a direct price on carbon pollution or a cap-and-trade system. The Government will introduce a backstop pricing system that will apply in provinces and territories that do not meet the federal carbon pricing benchmark.

In the coming months, the Government will release a consultation paper containing the technical details of the proposed federal carbon pricing backstop mechanism, and will work to ensure that the views of Canadians are heard.

Complementary Actions

In addition to investments made in Budget 2016, the Government is proposing to provide additional resources to support the Pan-Canadian Framework, including:

Accelerating the Replacement of Coal-Generated Electricity

The Government has set an ambitious goal of attaining 90 per cent of electricity generation from non-emitting sources by 2030. To help meet this goal, Budget 2017 proposes to provide $11.4 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, to Environment and Climate Change Canada to support the accelerated replacement of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 and set leading performance standards for natural-gas-fired electricity generation.

Reducing Reliance on Diesel in Indigenous and Northern Communities

The Government is also helping to reduce reliance on diesel in Indigenous and northern communities. To support the deployment of renewable energy projects in communities that rely on diesel for electricity and heating, Budget 2017 proposes to provide $21.4 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to continue the Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity Program.

These actions will be supported by other Budget 2017 proposed measures, including $220 million to reduce the reliance of rural and remote communities south of the 60th parallel on diesel fuel, and to support the use of more sustainable, renewable power solutions.

The Government will also invest an additional $400 million in an Arctic Energy Fund to address energy security for communities north of the 60th parallel, including Indigenous communities.

A More Energy Efficient Transportation Sector

In 2014, Canada's transportation sector accounted for nearly a quarter of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. To help reduce these emissions, Budget 2017 proposes to develop greenhouse gas regulations in the marine, rail, aviation and vehicle sectors. These efforts will be led by Transport Canada, with a proposed investment of $56.9 million over four years, starting in 2018–19. Budget 2017 also proposes to provide $17.2 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada to develop and implement heavy-duty vehicle retrofit and off-road regulations, as well as a clean fuel standard to reduce emissions from fuels used in transportation, building and industrial sectors.

Greener Buildings

Making Canada's building and industrial sectors more energy efficient will reduce emissions, make homes and buildings more comfortable, and help to lower energy costs, which can also make Canadian industries more competitive. To continue the work already underway to make the building and industrial sectors more energy efficient, Budget 2017 proposes to provide Natural Resources Canada with $67.5 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, to renew and continue existing energy efficiency programs. Budget 2017 also proposes to provide Natural Resources Canada with $39.8 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, to support projects and activities that increase the use of wood as a greener substitute material in infrastructure projects (for example, in mid-rise commercial and industrial buildings), helping to create new markets for sustainable Canadian products.

These programs will be supported by another Budget 2017 proposed national program to develop and implement new building codes to retrofit existing buildings and build new net-zero energy consumption buildings across Canada.

Leading by Example

The federal government has an important role to play in both setting ambitious emission reduction targets and taking steps to live up to those goals. To support the ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal operations by at least 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, Budget 2017 proposes to provide $13.5 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to Natural Resources Canada to provide expertise to other federal departments in the best approaches to implement energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, to retrofit federal buildings, and to reduce or eliminate emissions from vehicle fleets.

Adaptation and Climate Resilience

To protect our communities and all Canadians from the risks associated with climate change, Budget 2017 proposes to:

In addition, the Government will develop a new, cost-shared Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund for built and natural, large-scale infrastructure projects supporting mitigation of natural disasters and extreme weather events and climate resilience.

Clean Technology

Budget 2017 proposes significant investments in clean technology that will support objectives of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The details of these proposals are provided earlier in this chapter as well as in Chapter 1.

Policy, Communications and Engagement

To ensure a co-ordinated, whole-of-government approach to climate change, Budget 2017 proposes to provide $135.4 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, to Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada. This investment will be used to enhance action on short-lived climate pollutants, decarbonize the transportation system, and maintain policy and coordination capacity, as well as to develop a legislative framework for offshore renewable energy projects. The Government is also proposing to provide $26.4 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to support Indigenous collaboration on climate change.

What Success Will Look Like

The measures proposed in Budget 2017 will:

  • Help Canada meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
  • Help our communities better prepare for and respond to the effects of climate change, such as floods, wildfires, droughts and other extreme weather events.
  • Deliver cleaner air and water for all Canadians.

Charting a Better Future for Rural and Northern Communities

Investments in rural and northern infrastructure will help grow local economies, build stronger, more inclusive communities, and help safeguard the environment and the health of Canadians.

Because rural and northern communities have unique infrastructure needs that require a more targeted approach, the Government will invest $2.0 billion over 11 years to support a broad range of infrastructure projects, to be allocated to provinces and territories on a base plus per capita allocation basis.

Projects could include improving road access or expanding Internet connectivity—building on progress already underway thanks to a $500 million investment in rural broadband included in Budget 2016.

Other infrastructure improvements could include the renewal and replacement of energy systems in northern communities, so that remote communities can reduce their reliance on diesel. The Government will invest an additional $400 million in an Arctic Energy Fund to begin this work by addressing energy security for communities north of the 60th parallel, including Indigenous communities.

These investments will be made through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, and will have flexible terms, so that funds can be directed to the areas with the greatest need.

Building Stronger Communities and Neighbourhoods

Building strong communities and thriving neighbourhoods is part of our plan to create well-paying jobs for middle class Canadians, make our cities more dynamic and competitive, and drive economic growth. By investing in the things that help make our neighbourhoods better places to live—things like early learning and child care, and affordable housing—we can build stronger neighbourhoods that we are all proud to call home.

The Government is working to give every Canadian a real and fair chance at success, in part by making investments in Indigenous communities, early learning and child care, affordable housing, home care, and cultural and recreational infrastructure, which will strengthen our communities now, and build a better quality of life for our children and grandchildren. That is why Budget 2017 proposes new investments of $21.9 billion over 11 years to support social infrastructure in Canadian communities.

Supporting Families Through Early Learning and Child Care

For too many families, the lack of affordable, high-quality child care means difficult choices—some parents may have to sacrifice retirement savings to pay for child care, while others may leave their careers because child care is unavailable or unaffordable.

Recognizing the connection between child care and family economic security, Budget 2017 proposes measures that will increase support for early learning and child care, so that more Canadian parents can pursue new opportunities to learn and to work. With stronger skills and more work experience under their belts, families can focus on what matters most—building a better future for themselves, and their children.

To help Canadian children get the best start in life, and to better support Canadian families, Budget 2016 provided an initial $500 million in 2017–18 for early learning and child care.

Building on this commitment, Budget 2017 proposes to invest an additional $7 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country.

A portion of this investment will be dedicated to early learning and child care programs for Indigenous children living on- and off-reserve.

Over the next three years, these investments could:

To ensure that Canadian families have better access to high-quality, affordable child care, the Government is working with the provinces and territories to develop a National Framework on Early Learning and Child Care, focusing on best practices and new approaches to best serve families.

In addition, a distinct Indigenous Framework on Early Learning and Child Care, will be created in cooperation with Indigenous partners. The distinct Indigenous framework will reflect the unique cultures and needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children across Canada.

Building an Inclusive National Housing Strategy

All Canadians need and deserve housing that is safe, adequate and affordable. Without it, Canadians feel less secure, making it harder to accomplish every other goal—from raising healthy children to pursuing education, jobs and opportunity.

When affordable housing is in short supply, Canada's whole economy suffers. The lack of access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing is a particular concern in big cities.

To help address immediate housing needs, Budget 2016 committed to invest $2.2 billion over two years, to give more Canadians access to more affordable housing. To supplement these investments, Budget 2016 also provided funding for low-cost loans and new financing tools to encourage municipalities, housing developers and non-profit housing providers to develop more affordable rental housing units.

To build on these early efforts, Budget 2017 proposes to invest more than $11.2 billion over 11 years in a variety of initiatives designed to build, renew and repair Canada's stock of affordable housing and help ensure that Canadians have affordable housing that meets their needs.

These investments will be made as part of a new National Housing Strategy. The Strategy was developed following extensive consultation with and input from provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous Peoples, industry experts, stakeholders and, most importantly, those Canadians who are living with the challenge of finding adequate and affordable housing in many of Canada's big cities, and rural and remote communities.

The Strategy will provide a roadmap for governments and housing providers across the country as they decide how to best support housing renewal in their communities. Key elements include:

A Renewed Federal-Provincial-Territorial Partnership in Housing

As housing needs vary greatly by community, the Government is committed to working with the provinces and territories to ensure that the unique needs of communities all across Canada can be met.

Budget 2017 proposes to provide approximately $3.2 billion over the next 11 years to provinces and territories to support key priorities for affordable housing. These priorities may include the construction of new affordable housing units; the renovation and repair of existing housing; rent subsidies and other measures to make housing more affordable; and other initiatives to support safe, independent living for Canada's seniors, persons with disabilities and other individuals requiring accessibility modifications.

This investment will be provided through a new, expanded, multilateral investment framework that will replace the existing Investment in Affordable Housing initiative, which is set to expire at the end of 2018–19.

Taking Action on Affordable Housing

In Budget 2016, the Government reallocated $30 million, over two years, to help federally administered social housing providers maintain rent-geared-to-income units after current agreements end.

This investment notably helped 15 low-income families residing at Peter Secor Housing Co-operative in Toronto to continue to receive rent subsidies. These subsidies will help to make their current housing more affordable, giving these families some much-needed relief and lessening the burden of having to choose between paying monthly rent and purchasing other necessities, such as healthy food and clothes for growing children.

A New National Housing Fund

As part of the Government's renewed role in housing policy, Budget 2017 proposes to establish a National Housing Fund to address critical housing issues and prioritize support for vulnerable citizens, including: seniors; Indigenous Peoples; survivors fleeing situations of domestic violence; persons with disabilities; those dealing with mental health and addiction issues; and veterans.

Administered through CMHC, this Fund will receive an investment of $5 billion over the next 11 years.

The National Housing Fund will:

Further details about the National Housing Fund will be announced as part of the launch of the National Housing Strategy later this year.

Over the next number of years, a large number of operating agreements which help subsidize affordable rental housing will be expiring as CMHC-supported mortgages wind down. The Government intends to preserve the baseline funding related to these agreements, so that Canadians have access to housing options that are affordable and meet their needs. The use and renewal of these funds will be determined over the next year.‎ These funds are in addition to the new investments in affordable housing and homelessness supported by Budget 2017.

Targeted Support for Northern Housing

Budget 2017 proposes to invest $300 million over the next 11 years to provide targeted support for northern housing. This will provide stable and predictable funding to the territorial governments to help offset the higher cost of construction in the north, and support territorial efforts to improve housing conditions across the region. These investments, provided as a top-up to the Investment in Affordable Housing initiative and the new multilateral investment framework, will help approximately 3,000 northern families find adequate, suitable and affordable housing.

Funding for northern housing will be allocated as follows: $24 million will be provided to Yukon, $36 million to the Northwest Territories, and $240 million to Nunavut, where additional funding is provided for Inuit communities and housing need is the greatest. This targeted investment is in addition to Indigenous-specific housing investments to be made as part of funding for infrastructure in Indigenous communities.

Targeted Housing Support for Indigenous Peoples Not Living On-Reserve

Indigenous Peoples not living on-reserve face unique challenges accessing culturally appropriate and affordable housing. In recognition of this, Budget 2017 proposes to invest $225 million over the next 11 years to provide financial support to housing providers serving Indigenous Peoples not living on-reserve.

This funding will provide assistance for needed capital repairs, help ensure the continued affordability of units previously supported by the former Urban Native Housing Program and encourage development of new housing. The Government will develop and administer this program in collaboration with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners.

Working Together to Tackle Homelessness

Homelessness is a reality for too many Canadians and a challenge for every Canadian community.

Through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, the Government provides direct support and funding to communities across Canada for projects to prevent and reduce homelessness, including Housing First initiatives that help homeless women and men secure stable housing while providing them with support for underlying issues, such as mental health or addiction.

Budget 2017 proposes a total investment of $2.1 billion over the next 11 years to expand and extend funding for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy beyond 2018–19, when current funding is scheduled to end. By 2021–22, this will nearly double the investments made in 2015–16, prior to the start of Phase 1 of Canada's new infrastructure plan.

Over the next year, guided by the efforts of an advisory panel of homelessness experts, the Government will consult with stakeholders, provinces, territories and Indigenous partners on how the Homelessness Partnering Strategy can be redesigned to better reduce and prevent homelessness across Canada.

Making More Federal Lands Available for Affordable Housing

The Government has a unique opportunity to directly contribute to the creation of additional affordable housing and social housing.

Budget 2017 proposes to invest $202 million over the next 11 years to make surplus federal lands and buildings available to housing providers at low or no cost for the development of affordable housing. This includes funding to top up the existing Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative in 2017–18, and a new expanded initiative starting in 2018–19, which will also provide funding for environmental remediation and for renovations or retrofits needed to ensure that the surplus federal buildings are suitable for use as housing.

Taken together, these investments will increase by a factor of 10 the Government's annual contribution of land and property intended for development as affordable housing.

Strengthening Housing Research and Establishing a Housing Statistics Framework

In recent years, Canada has grappled with difficult questions about housing affordability and foreign ownership—questions that could not be answered in a timely or effective way. Gaps in research and data in these areas must be filled, to ensure that Canada maintains a stable and well-regulated housing market, and to ensure that investments made under the National Housing Strategy are effective.

As part of the National Housing Strategy, Budget 2017 proposes to provide $241 million over the next 11 years to CMHC to improve data collection and analytics, which will strengthen the ability to report the outcomes of the National Housing Strategy and make informed policy decisions. This investment will also support expanded housing research through university networks and collaboration with other levels of government, and a network of innovation labs that will incubate new ideas and design solutions to affordable housing challenges.

To address data gaps in current nationwide housing data, Budget 2017 also proposes to provide $39.9 million over five years, and $6.6 million per year thereafter, to Statistics Canada to develop and implement a new Housing Statistics Framework. This investment is over and above investments under the National Housing Strategy.

The Housing Statistics Framework will be a nationwide database of all properties in Canada, and provide up-to-date information on purchases and sales, including the degree of foreign ownership, as well as information on homeowner demographics and financing characteristics.

The Framework will represent a significant jump forward in the quality and type of housing data available, and will provide more accurate and timely information to existing and prospective homeowners, industry analysts and government decision-makers.

Statistics Canada will begin to publish Housing Statistics Framework data in the fall of 2017.

Delivering Better Transportation to Support Trade

As a large country that relies on trade for its economic success, Canada needs to ensure that people and products can move quickly and safely—whether from home to work, or from harvest to warehouse.

As announced in the 2016 Fall Economic Statement, the Government will invest $10.1 billion over 11 years in trade and transportation projects. This investment will build stronger, more efficient transportation corridors to international markets and help Canadian businesses compete, grow and create more jobs for Canada's middle class.

Moving People and Helping Businesses Compete

Canada's Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative will help to improve the quality of trade infrastructure across Canada—from border crossings in the south to airports in the north.

Building on Transport Canada's "gateways" model, the Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative will prioritize investments that address congestion and bottlenecks along vital corridors, and around transportation hubs and ports providing access to world markets.

Supporting Trade, Creating Jobs

Between 2005 and 2015, federal investments of $1.4 billion in the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative funded more than 60 projects that leveraged total direct investment of $3.5 billion from public and private partners. These in turn spurred investments in excess of $14 billion by other supply chain partners in new or expanded facilities to move Canadian products to global markets and create well-paying jobs.

For example, a federal contribution of $3.6 million to the inland terminal project in Ashcroft, British Columbia, leveraged private partner contributions of $4.3 million to build new rail and road infrastructure that has increased capacity by more than 650 per cent, eliminating congestion associated with the facility and improving safety by separating train traffic from cars and trucks. Inland cargo handling also eases congestion around the Port of Vancouver.

To help connect northern communities to trade and investment opportunities, investments will also be made to resolve critical transportation needs in Canada's north.

The Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative includes the following: a National Trade Corridors Fund; a Trade and Transportation Information System; measures to enable the modernization of Canada's transportation system; the Oceans Protection Plan; and funding to undertake climate risk assessments and address the requirements of existing federally funded transportation assets (VIA Rail Canada Inc., Marine Atlantic Inc. and Eastern Atlantic ferries).

National Trade Corridors Fund

To address urgent capacity constraints and freight bottlenecks at major ports of entry, and to better connect the rail and highway infrastructure that delivers economic growth across Canada, the Government proposes to establish a new National Trade Corridors Fund.

Investments will target congestion and inefficiencies at marine ports such as Vancouver (vital to expanding Canada's trade with Asia) and Montréal (critical to the success of Canada's Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union), as well as along the busiest rail and highway corridors around the Greater Toronto Area and other urban centres across the country. Budget 2017 proposes to provide $2 billion over 11 years to support the Fund's activities. At least an additional $5 billion will be provided through the Canada Infrastructure Bank to address trade and transportation priorities.

In addition to identifying priority investments that will help streamline transportation along Canada's major trade corridors, the Fund will look for ways to improve the flow of supplies to northern communities, unlock economic development in Canada's three territories, and create good, middle class jobs.

Trade and Transportation Information System

To make smart decisions, government and the private sector alike need access to high-quality, timely and accessible data and analysis. The Government is committed to strengthening Canada's transportation networks and needs good information to make the targeted investments in trade corridors that will support growth and the creation of good, well-paying jobs.

To that end, the Government proposes to establish a new Canadian Centre on Transportation Data, and an open data portal, to serve as authoritative sources of multi-modal transportation data and performance measures. Statistics Canada, other levels of government, industry and educational institutions will be partners in this initiative. The initiative will support innovations that will move goods more efficiently across supply and distribution chains, getting them from the manufacturer and into the hands of consumers more quickly, affordably and sustainably.

To support this measure, Budget 2017 proposes to provide $50 million over 11 years to Transport Canada to launch a Trade and Transportation Information System.

Modernizing Canada's Transportation System

Travel and transportation is evolving. From self-driving cars on our roads to drones in our skies to ever-changing patterns in trade, the Government must stay on top of changing trends by updating regulations, certifications and standards. Proposed activities include:

To complete these and other related activities, Budget 2017 proposes to provide Transport Canada with $76.7 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, on a cash basis, including existing resources.

Transport Canada provides a range of services to the transportation sector on a cost recovery basis. This applies to all modes of transport, including the licensing and certification of aircraft, a service that is essential to the economic success of Canada's aerospace industry.

To support the long-term growth of this and other transportation-related industries, the Government will introduce legislation to enter into service-level agreements with industry. These new authorities will allow for more effective cost recovery for regulatory and certification services, so that new products and services can be brought to market faster, and enhance the industry's competitiveness.

In addition, the Government has announced plans to increase limits on international investment in Canada's airlines, and to enhance passenger rights.

Connecting Communities by Rail and Water

For nearly 40 years, VIA Rail Canada Inc. has connected passengers across Canada, and presently serves more than 400 communities on a 12,500-kilometre rail network. To ensure VIA Rail's continued operations, Budget 2017 proposes to provide VIA Rail with $867.3 million over three years on a cash basis, starting in 2017–18, to support its operations and capital requirements.

Marine Atlantic Inc. operates two marine routes connecting Newfoundland and Labrador to the rest of Canada: a year-round route between North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador, and a seasonal route from North Sydney to Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador. To support the continued operations of Marine Atlantic Inc., Budget 2017 proposes to provide funding of up to $445.3 million over three years on a cash basis, starting in 2017–18, including existing resources.

In addition to the services offered by Marine Atlantic Inc., the federal government provides financial support to ferry routes between Îles de la Madeleine, Quebec, and Souris, Prince Edward Island; between Saint John, New Brunswick, and Digby, Nova Scotia; and between Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, and Caribou, Nova Scotia. Budget 2017 proposes to provide $278.3 million over five years on a cash basis, starting in 2017–18, including existing resources, for the continued safe and reliable operations of these ferry services.

Investing in Canadian Small Craft Harbours

A safe and accessible network of small craft harbours is essential to support the fishing industry and coastal communities across Canada. These harbours are also an important and unique element of the broader transportation system and are relied on daily by both commercial and recreational users. In Budget 2016, the Government invested $149 million over two years for small craft harbour infrastructure improvements. Budget 2017 builds on this funding by proposing to provide an additional $5 million in 2017–18 to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support the Small Craft Harbours Program.

Oceans Protection Plan: Protecting Canada's Coastlines for Future Generations

To improve marine safety, support responsible shipping, protect Canada's marine environment and create stronger partnerships with Indigenous and coastal communities, the Government launched a $1.5 billion national Oceans Protection Plan in November 2016.

The plan includes provisions to:

  • Reopen the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Increase domestic and international scientific collaboration on oil spill response, and invest in research to support new and refined oceanographic oil spill trajectory models.
  • Improve hydrography, charting and e-navigation products to strengthen navigational safety.
  • Create a comprehensive plan to address abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels.
  • Encourage greater participation of Indigenous groups in environmental monitoring and spill response.
  • Update marine safety regulations to respond to more stringent international standards, while moving towards a more risk-based inspection regime.

These initiatives will be undertaken by Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Natural Resources Canada.

Protecting Air Travellers

To ensure consistent and effective security screening of travellers and workers at airports, Budget 2017 proposes to provide new funding of $152 million in 2017–18 for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Strengthening Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure

Canada's cultural industries—from television and film to dance to digital games—are the heartbeat of our communities and an important contributor to Canada's economy. Collectively, they employ nearly 650,000 Canadians, providing good, well-paying jobs for the middle class, and account for approximately 3 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product.

More than an economic driver, Canada's cultural industries reflect the Canadian experience, and share that experience with the world. They showcase Canadians' creativity and diversity, strengthening our understanding of what it means to be Canadian.

To help promote arts and culture in Canada, Budget 2016 invested $1.9 billion over five years to support key national cultural institutions. This funding also included $168.2 million over two years for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

Budget 2017 proposes to build on this commitment, with a further investment of $1.8 billion over 10 years starting in 2018–19. Of this amount, more than $1.3 billion will be provided to provinces and territories through integrated bilateral agreements, on a base plus per capita allocation basis. This investment will be delivered through the second phase of social infrastructure funding.

Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

To construct, renovate and better equip the creative spaces and hubs that will be home to the next generation of artists and innovators, Budget 2017 proposes to provide $300 million over 10 years to the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This investment will help support the development of Canadian talent, and support entrepreneurialism in the arts and cultural communities.

This new investment will bring artists, cultural entrepreneurs and organizations together in shared spaces where they can collaborate and take their ideas to new heights. The new investment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will be focused on the construction, renovation and equipment needs of creative spaces/hubs, which will help drive growth in Canada's creative economy.

Community Educational Infrastructure

To celebrate and promote Canada's linguistic diversity, $80 million over 10 years will be invested to support the construction of community educational infrastructure in official language minority communities. Working with the provinces and territories, the Government could invest in projects like early childhood centres, community centres and cultural centres. This commitment will create more vibrant communities by supporting local official languages groups in protecting their language and culture, enriching their lives and the lives of those around them.

Building Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure

Budget 2016 announced an investment of $342 million over two years in cultural and recreational infrastructure initiatives. Some early investments included:

  • Kenojuak Cultural Centre: To foster local artists and promote a broader appreciation for Inuit art, $4.5 million was invested through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to create the Kenojuak Cultural Centre, located in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. A multi-purpose facility, the Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop will be home to permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, purpose-built artists' studios with facilities for lithography, etching, drawing and stone cutting, and an Elder/community gathering space.
  • Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex: To allow visitors to Montréal to experience and enjoy the city's history, up to $1 million has been allocated to Pointe-à-Callière to stabilize and protect the archaeological remains of Montréal's first permanent settlement, Fort Ville-Marie. This investment is being made through Parks Canada's National Historic Sites Cost Sharing Program.

Enabling Accessibility Fund

The Enabling Accessibility Fund supports the construction and renovation of public spaces to make them more accessible, making it possible for Canadians with disabilities to participate more fully in their community and the economy. Since its creation in 2007, the program has provided funding to over 2,300 projects across the country, leading to significant improvements in the lives of Canadians.

However, more needs to be done to improve the safety and accessibility of community spaces and workplaces. Budget 2017 proposes to provide $77 million over 10 years to expand the activities of the Enabling Accessibility Fund. Eligible projects will include constructing and renovating infrastructure (e.g., adding ramps, automatic door openers and accessible washrooms), providing accessible information and communication technologies and retrofitting vehicles.

Making Communities More Accessible

All Canadians deserve the chance to be active members of the communities they call home. Examples of accessibility improvements made possible by the Enabling Accessibility Fund include:

  • Siloam Mission: Winnipeg, Manitoba's Siloam Mission provides meals and clothing, emergency overnight shelter, employment training and other supports to the city's poor and homeless community. Over the last year, the Enabling Accessibility Fund helped support the construction of two exterior ramps for the Mission, as part of a larger-scale building retrofit. These ramps will allow people of all abilities to access the Mission's programs and services.
  • Boys and Girls Club: London, Ontario's Boys and Girls Club received support to lower the reception desk and add a mobile change table for the swimming club to assist people with special needs. The new accessible desk area improves customer service by enhancing communication between people with disabilities and staff. The new mobile change table reduces the risk of injury by safely raising and lowering people with special needs. As a result of the project, persons with disabilities can now safely participate in the swimming activities held at the facility every month, alongside their family members and friends.
Infrastructure Partnerships Through Bilateral Agreements

A new infrastructure plan for Canada needs new partnerships—the kind that respect local expertise and don't try to force a one-size-fits-all solution on Canada's diverse communities.

To promote closer, more effective collaboration between governments, the Government will work with provincial and territorial partners to establish and support infrastructure outcomes that make sense for Canadians—whether new investments in public transit or more support for the cultural infrastructure that makes our communities feel like home.

The bilateral agreements will be negotiated in the coming months, and provide funding for:

  • Public transit infrastructure, including new construction and rehabilitation.
  • Infrastructure to support greenhouse gas mitigation efforts in provinces and territories, as outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
  • Infrastructure that will help communities prepare for challenges that result from climate change.
  • Other green infrastructure that supports the health of our environment, such as water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • The unique infrastructure needs of rural and northern communities, including delivering more reliable energy networks and greater digital connectivity.
  • Cultural and recreational infrastructure to build stronger communities and neighbourhoods.

The bilateral agreements will involve cost-sharing for agreed-to projects, with the proportions determined based on the recipient of the funds. The Government will provide funding for projects on the following basis: up to 40 per cent federal funding for projects undertaken with municipal and not-for-profit partners; up to 50 per cent federal funding for projects with provincial partners; and up to 75 per cent federal funding for projects with Indigenous partners and projects with territorial partners. For public transit in provinces, the Government will provide up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for rehabilitation projects (with funding for rehabilitation projects capped at 15 per cent of total public transit funding), while funding for new public transit construction and expansion projects will be cost-shared at up to 40 per cent federal funding.

The bilateral agreements will include provisions to support ongoing monitoring of projects, and reporting to Canadians on how the Government's infrastructure plan is delivering results in local communities and meeting national objectives. The Government intends to work with the provinces and territories to establish outcomes and results that can be measured and reported on in a timely and meaningful way.

Improving Indigenous Communities

In Budget 2016, to advance the process of reconciliation, and to support shared economic interests between Canada and Indigenous peoples, the Government committed to invest $8.4 billion over five years—an unprecedented level of investment in Indigenous communities across Canada.

The proposed investments in education, infrastructure, training and other programs are targeted to improve the quality of life for Indigenous peoples, and to ensure that Indigenous peoples have a real and fair chance at success.

At the same time, the Government recognizes that this early commitment is just a start. The barriers that make it difficult for Indigenous Peoples and their communities to reach their full potential have been in place for far too long. Resolving past injustices will take time, and can only be achieved with sustained support and collaboration.

To that end, Budget 2017 proposes to invest an additional $4 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to build and improve housing, water treatment systems, health facilities and other community infrastructure.

This investment will be delivered through the second phase of green infrastructure and social infrastructure funding.

To maximize the benefits and long-term sustainability of these proposed investments, funding allocations will be determined in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

Making Progress for Indigenous Communities

More Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Communities

With the help of the investments made in water and wastewater infrastructure in Budget 2016, the Government has lifted 18 long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities. The Government is on track to eliminate more than 60 per cent of remaining long-term advisories within three years and all long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021. To ensure that these investments continue to serve communities well, the Government is also investing in training for community members, so that they can manage and maintain this important infrastructure.

  • In December 2016, Toosey First Nation (Tl'esqox First Nation) in British Columbia announced the completion of a new water treatment system. The system, which includes a new well, water treatment plant and distribution system, provides clean, healthy drinking water to the more than 340 residents, eliminating a boil water advisory that had been in place for more than 10 years.

Better On-Reserve Housing

To date, Budget 2016 investments have supported the construction, planning or renovation of nearly 6,000 housing units on-reserve, and supported 425 skills and capacity development projects to help First Nations communities manage their housing stock, including:

  • More housing for Barren Lands First Nation. With only 93 housing units in the community, many residents of the Barren Lands First Nation in Manitoba live in overcrowded conditions. As a first step in resolving this community's immediate needs, Budget 2016 investments provided for the construction of four housing duplexes, to be completed in early 2017.
  • Renovated homes and housing training for the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation. The Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation in Ontario received support from Budget 2016 that supported the renovation of seven homes. In addition, the First Nation received support through CMHC's skills and capacity development programs to train housing managers to evaluate and address problems with radon gas.

New Schools for Indigenous Students

Last year, almost 2,000 Indigenous students started the school year in six brand-new schools on-reserve. An additional 31 new on-reserve schools are now under construction. Another 27 are being designed, and a further 72 are in feasibility studies. The newly opened schools include:

  • The Wasaho Cree Nation School in Fort Severn, Ontario.
  • The Ne Sah Soh Is Koh Dahn School in O'Chiese First Nation, Alberta.
  • The Eenchokay Birchstick School in Pikangikum, Ontario.
  • The Poplar Hill Elementary School in Poplar Hill, Ontario.
  • The Chief Crowfoot School in Siksika, Alberta.
  • The Wagalus School in Kwakiutl, British Columbia.

Prioritizing Critical Home Care Infrastructure

Many patients currently receiving care in Canadian hospitals could be better supported at home or in the community. To help more Canadians receive the care they need outside of hospital settings, the Government has offered $1 billion over four years to provinces and territories, starting in 2018–19, for home care infrastructure. In total, the Government has committed to invest $11 billion over 10 years to support better home care and mental health initiatives. Further details on this commitment are provided in Chapter 3.

To date, the provincial and territorial governments of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have accepted the federal offer and will receive their share of the home care infrastructure investment.

Table 2.1
Communities Built for Change millions of dollars
  2016–2017 2017–2018 2018–2019 2019–2020 2020–2021 2021–2022 Total
Investing to Create Jobs and Build Strong Communities              
  Encouraging Innovation With the Smart Cities Challenge 0 5 55 5 55 5 125
  Delivering Results With the Canada Infrastructure Bank 0 149 261 476 850 1,108 2,844
  Building Strong Communities With Public Transit 0 0 950 851 977 1,150 3,926
  Subtotal—Investing to Create Jobs and Build Strong Communities 0 154 1,266 1,331 1,882 2,263 6,895
Creating Canada's Clean Growth Economy              
  Bilateral Agreements With Provinces and Territories in Green Infrastructure 0 0 361 393 392 450 1,596
  Supporting Next Generation Smart Grid, Storage and Clean Electricity Technology Demonstration Projects 0 0 25 25 25 25 100
  Supporting the Deployment of Emerging Renewable Energy Technologies Nearing Commercialization 0 0 25 50 50 50 175
  Reducing the Reliance of Rural and Remote Communities South of the 60th Parallel on Diesel Fuel 0 0 40 40 40 40 160
  Deploying Infrastructure for Electric Vehicle Charging and Natural Gas and Hydrogen Refuelling Stations 0 0 30 30 30 30 120
  New Building Codes to Retrofit Existing Buildings and Build New Net-Zero Energy Consumption Buildings 0 0 20 22 24 22 87
  Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund 0 0 45 100 100 200 445
  Green Infrastructure Funding Remaining for Future Initiatives 0 0 0 0 76 176 252
Subtotal—Creating Canada's Clean Growth Economy 0 0 546 660 737 993 2,935
Celebrating and Protecting Our Natural Heritage              
  Investing in Canada's National Parks 0 0 11 39 4 5 59
  Completing the Trans Canada Trail 0 6 6 6 6 6 30
  Protecting Canada's Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 0 17 23 23 25 25 114
  Improving Air Quality for Canadians 0 0 51 50 50 50 201
Subtotal—Celebrating and Protecting Our Natural Heritage 0 23 91 118 85 87 405
The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change              
  Adjusting the Low Carbon Economy Fund to Support Future Investments 0 -750 -500 500 500 250 0
  Accelerating the Replacement of Coal-Generated Electricity 0 0 3 3 3 3 11
  Reducing Reliance on Diesel in Indigenous and Northern Communities 0 0 5 5 5 5 21
  A More Energy Efficient Transportation Sector 0 1 18 18 18 18 74
  Greener Buildings 0 0 21 25 27 34 107
  Leading by Example 0 2 3 3 3 3 14
  Adaptation and Climate Resilience 0 33 52 59 59 58 260
  Policy, Communications and Engagement 0 5 40 39 39 39 162
Subtotal—The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change 0 -708 -357 653 654 409 650
Charting a Better Future for Rural and Northern Communities              
  Bilateral Agreements with Provinces and Territories forRural and Northern Communities 0 0 150 150 150 200 650
  Arctic Energy Fund 0 0 40 40 40 40 160
Subtotal—Charting a Better Future for Rural and Northern Communities 0 0 190 190 190 240 810
Building Stronger Communities and Neighbourhoods              
  Supporting Families Through Early Learning and Child Care 0 0 540 545 550 550 2,185
  A Renewed Federal-Provincial-Territorial Partnership in Housing 0 0 0 255 255 255 765
  A New National Housing Fund 0 10 141 266 338 428 1,184
  Targeted Support for Northern Housing 0 0 30 30 30 30 120
  Targeted Housing Support or Indigenous Peoples Not Living On-Reserve 0 0 25 25 25 25 100
  Working Together to Tackle Homelessness 0 0 54 203 213 237 707
  Making More Federal Lands Available for Affordable Housing 0 2 20 20 20 20 82
  Strengthening Housing Research and Establishing a Housing Statistics Framework 0 8 35 37 36 34 151
Subtotal—Building Stronger Communities and Neighbourhoods 0 20 845 1,381 1,467 1,580 5,294
Delivering Better Transportation to Support Trade              
  National Trade Corridors Fund 0 31 78 156 169 184 618
  Trade and Transportation Information System 0 5 5 5 5 5 23
  Modernizing Canada's Transportation System 0 11 16 16 17 17 76
  Connecting Communities by Rail and Water 0 300 309 324 87 100 1,120
  Investing in Canadian Small Craft Harbours 0 5 0 0 0 0 5
  Protecting Air Travellers 0 152 0 0 0 0 152
Subtotal—Delivering Better Transportation to Support Trade 0 504 407 501 277 306 1,995
Strengthening Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure              
  Bilateral Agreements With Provinces and Territories for Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure 0 0 50 50 50 50 200
  Canada Cultural Spaces Fund 0 0 30 30 30 30 120
  Community Educational Infrastructure 0 0 4 4 4 8 20
  Enabling Accessibility Fund 0 0 8 8 8 8 31
Subtotal—Strengthening Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure 0 0 92 92 92 96 371
Improving Indigenous Communities              
  Improving Indigenous Communities 0 0 275 275 300 300 1,150
Subtotal—Improving Indigenous Communities 0 0 275 275 300 300 1,150
Total—Chapter 2: Communities Built for Change 0 -7 3,355 5,201 5,683 6,272 20,504
    Less funds existing in the fiscal framework 0 -554 -3,691 -4,228 -5,337 -6,731 -20,541
    Less projected revenues 0 0 0 0 0 -50 -50
    Less funds sourced from departmental resources 0 -42 -42 -42 -22 -22 -169
Net Fiscal Cost 0 -603 -378 932 324 -531 -256
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
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