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Communities Built for Change

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 men and women who can build them—we can strengthen and grow the middle class and make Canada an even better place to call home.

To expand on the commitments made in Budget 2016 and the 2016 Fall Economic Statement, Budget 2017 will:

  • Invest in faster, more efficient public transit systems that will help people get to work on time and, at the end of a long day, back home faster to their families.
  • Help build communities that are cleaner and less reliant on sources of energy that pollute the air, harm the environment and compromise our health.
  • Make it easier for hard-working Canadians to find decent, affordable places to live—with affordable child care and better support as they age.

Encouraging Innovation With the Smart Cities Challenge

Smart technologies can help us live better lives and prepare for the challenges ahead. By finding the most innovative and creative ways to put them to work for our towns and cities, we can reduce traffic, create safer neighbourhoods, breathe cleaner air, drink cleaner water, and grow our communities more sustainably. To unleash the most creative minds and encourage cities to adopt new and innovative approaches to city-building, the Government will launch a Smart Cities Challenge, where local governments will be invited to work with citizens, businesses and civil society to submit their best ideas as part of a nationwide, merit-based competition.

Early Learning and Child Care

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. Increasing the current number of affordable child care spaces for low- and modest-income families helps give our kids the best possible start in life, and makes it more affordable for parents to continue learning, or return to work after having a child.

To give kids and their parents a real and fair chance at success, the Government will invest $7 billion to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country, including programs for Indigenous children living on- and off-reserve. These investments could support as many as 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces for low- and modest-income families in the next three years.

An Inclusive National Housing Strategy

Without a safe, affordable place to call home and raise a family, Canadians feel less secure, making it harder to accomplish every other goal—from raising healthy children to pursuing education, jobs and opportunities. As part of a new National Housing Strategy, the Government will invest more than $11.2 billion in a range of initiatives designed to build, renew and repair Canada’s stock of affordable housing and help to ensure that Canadians have adequate and affordable housing that meets their needs. This includes $225 million to improve housing conditions for Indigenous Peoples not living on-reserve.

In addition to these new investments, the Government is also preserving baseline funding for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation related to the expiry of long-term social housing operating agreements, so that Canadians have access to housing options that are affordable and meet their needs.

A Better Future for Rural and Northern Communities

Our rural and northern communities have unique needs that require a more targeted approach. Issues such as road access, Internet connectivity and reducing a community’s dependence on diesel can make a real difference in people’s lives—and contribute to Canada’s overall success. That is why the Government will invest $2 billion to help grow local economies, build stronger and more inclusive communities, and help safeguard the environment and health of Canadians. An additional $400 million will be provided through an Arctic Energy Fund for energy security in communities north of the 60th parallel, including Indigenous communities.

Progress for Indigenous Communities

Over the last year, the Government has lifted 18 long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities, and is on track to eliminate all remaining advisories by March 2021. But 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.

To advance the process of reconciliation, and to support shared economic interests between Canada and Indigenous Peoples, the Government is building on its initial investments with an additional $4 billion. This will build and improve housing, water treatment systems, health facilities and other community infrastructure in partnership with First Nations and Inuit. The allocations will be determined following the budget through direct consultations with communities.

To ensure that these investments continue to serve communities well, the Government is also investing in the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, so that community members can manage and maintain this important infrastructure.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will work with provincial, territorial, municipal, Indigenous, and private sector and institutional investment partners to transform the way infrastructure is planned, funded and delivered across the country. With its focus on large, transformative projects such as regional transit plans, transportation networks and electricity grid interconnections, the Bank will make public dollars go farther. These projects will have the added benefit of creating 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.

Better Transportation to Support Trade

Canada is a large country that relies on investment, openness and trade for its economic success. We need to ensure that people and products can move quickly and safely—whether from home to work, or from harvest to warehouse. Canada’s Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative will help to improve the quality of trade infrastructure across Canada, from coast to coast to coast, providing Canadian producers and innovators with access to world markets.

The Government is investing $10.1 billion over 11 years to modernize Canada’s transportation system, protect our oceans and waterways and address the requirements of existing federally funded transportation assets (VIA Rail Canada Inc., Marine Atlantic Inc. and Eastern Atlantic ferries). Not only will these investments help Canadian business to compete, grow and succeed—they will also create more jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

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.

Building Stronger, More Caring Communities

Faster Public Transit

Shorter commutes, less air pollution, more time with family and stronger economic growth are all benefits of modern, efficient public transit. To support the next phase of ambitious public transit projects, the Government will invest $20.1 billion through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories. 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.

Clean Growth Economy

A clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand. To advance Canada’s efforts to build a clean economy, the Government will 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. Funding will flow through three distinct streams: integrated bilateral agreements, the Canada Infrastructure Bank and a series of national programs. Investments will be made in priorities such as clean electricity grid interconnections, electric vehicle charging stations and projects to safely manage wastewater.

More Opportunity

By investing in the things that help make our neighbourhoods better places to live, we can build stronger neighbourhoods and communities that we are all proud to call home. That is why Budget 2017 makes new investments to support affordable housing, cultural institutions and recreational facilities, and high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country, including for Indigenous children living on- and off-reserve.


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