Canada and Ontario sign $6.2-billion Building Canada Infrastructure Agreement



    Improvements to Highway 11/17 in northwestern Ontario, Ontario rural
    broadband coverage, Waterloo Region rapid transit, and the Huron Elgin
    London Project for clean water are priorities under Building Canada and
    ReNew Ontario

    LONDON, ON, July 24 /CNW/ - The governments of Canada and Ontario today
announced the signing of an infrastructure Framework Agreement worth more than
$6.2 billion under Building Canada, the Government of Canada's long-term
infrastructure plan. The Plan will help address infrastructure needs and
priorities in Ontario until 2014.
    The Honorable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, the Honourable George Smitherman, Ontario Deputy Premier and
Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister
of Finance, and the Honourable Dwight Duncan, Ontario Minister of Finance,
participated in today's announcement.
    The governments of Canada and Ontario also identified improvements on
Highway 11/17 in northwestern Ontario, expanding rural broadband coverage in
southern and eastern Ontario, and rapid transit in the Waterloo region as
initial priorities that the two governments will work together on under
Building Canada. In addition, the Government of Canada has previously
announced up to $50 million to the HELP Clean Water (Huron Elgin London
Project) and Ontario today also committed up to $50 million for the project as
well. Both governments have also previously announced up to $50 million each
towards the expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre.
    "The Building Canada infrastructure plan will help support economic
growth, a cleaner environment and the overall prosperity of all Ontarians,"
said Minister Cannon. "Substantial infrastructure funding was long overdue in
this country and we're getting it done. Clean drinking water, safer highways,
expanded public transit and improved connectivity are all clear examples of
the concrete results that Building Canada will deliver to the people, cities
and communities of Ontario."
    "The Framework Agreement will help keep Ontarians green and connected -
through investments in transit, roads, and surfing the Internet. The McGuinty
government is committed to building a better quality of life for Ontarians,
and this agreement is a clear example of how we all benefit when the
governments of Ontario and Canada work together," said Minister Smitherman.
    "As Canada's Minister of Finance, I appreciate the importance of
investing in infrastructure, that's why we are making the largest single
federal investment in public infrastructure since World War Two, that's why we
made federal gas tax funding permanent, and that's why we have established the
Government of Canada's first public, private partnership office," said
Minister Flaherty.
    "The funding under the Framework Agreement will help create good-paying
jobs and strengthen our economic competitiveness," said Minister Duncan.
"Together, we are making the right investments in Ontario's infrastructure to
position this province for future prosperity."
    "I'm truly happy we've signed the Framework Agreement with the Province
of Ontario," said Canada's Environment Minister John Baird. "It will greatly
benefit our cities and communities by helping ensure a more competitive
economy, stronger communities, a cleaner environment, and a more prosperous
Ontario."
    Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure
plan, the Government of Canada will provide long-term, stable and predictable
funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will
support a stronger, safer and better country.

    
                                 BACKGROUNDER
    

    The Framework Agreement sets the stage for a collaborative investment in
the infrastructure needs in Ontario. Under this Agreement, approximately
$3.09 billion from the Building Canada Fund, a centrepiece of the overall
plan, will go towards infrastructure initiatives in Ontario through two
components: more than $2.73 billion in funding will support larger-scale
projects; while under the Communities Component, $362 million in funding will
be available for partnership investments in communities with populations less
than 100,000. Ontario will match federal funding, meaning that more than
$6 billion will be made available for investment in the province's
infrastructure.
    Further, under the Plan, the Government of Canada will provide
$25 million in base funding annually, for a total of $175 million through to
2014 for core infrastructure priorities in Ontario. A further $2.98 billion
will flow to Ontario municipalities through the extension of the federal Gas
Tax Fund agreement from 2010 to 2014.
    The Canada-Ontario Framework Agreement outlines how the Building Canada
Plan will operate in the province. It also establishes a governance framework
through which the two governments will work together, in the spirit of open
federalism, to identify and address further infrastructure priorities.
    In addition to the $6.2 billion of guaranteed funding outlined in this
agreement, under Building Canada, Ontario and its municipalities will also
have potential access to the Gateways and Border Crossing Fund as well as the
Public-Private Partnership Fund. Finally, with the full GST rebate and the Gas
Tax Fund, over fifty per cent of the Building Canada Plan flows directly to
municipalities to further strengthen local infrastructure priorities.
    Through the Framework Agreement, Ontario is building on the success of
ReNew Ontario, the province's five-year $30 billion-plus infrastructure
investment plan to be completed by 2010. The province is currently developing
a long-term comprehensive strategy for the additional investment in
infrastructure that Ontario families depend on, totalling at least
$60 billion.
    Federal financial support for the priority funding initiatives announced
today is conditional upon the initiatives meeting all applicable federal
eligibility requirements under Building Canada.
    Provincial financial support for the priority funding initiatives
announced today is conditional upon the initiatives meeting all applicable
eligibility requirements under ReNew Ontario and on satisfactory completion of
provincial due diligence.
    Canada and Ontario's contribution towards HELP Clean Water Project is
conditional on the successful completion of a federal and provincial due
diligence review of the project, including an analysis of the business case by
the Infrastructure Framework Committee.
    The contribution is also conditional on the municipalities securing any
funding approvals that may be required respectively by federal and provincial
Treasury Boards, all applicable environmental assessments, consistency with
provincial water policy, and the signing of a contribution agreement that will
detail the project elements, schedule, costs, and funding parameters.





For further information:

For further information: on the Building Canada plan, visit
www.buildingcanada.gc.ca; Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700;
Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148; Laurel Ostfield, Press Secretary,
Office of the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, (416) 327-4418

Organization Profile

Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890