Canada makes its largest-ever investment in public infrastructure

By Leila SteedFebruary 22, 2021

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that CA$14.9 billion (US$11.8 billion) is to be invested in Canada’s public infrastructure over the next eight years, in order to “rebuild a more sustainable and resilient economy”.

The investment will increase the country’s use of cleaner electric power, zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure, in order to reduce pollution and help fight climate change.

It includes the provision of a dedicated planning fund to speed up major projects and support the expansion of the country’s urban transport systems. 

Catherine McKenna, minister of infrastructure and communities, said, “It is time to ambitiously invest in modern and sustainable public transit across our country, to reduce congestion, to help create a million jobs, and to support cleaner and more inclusive communities.

“Permanent, long-term funding for public transit will mean new subway lines, light-rail transit and streetcars, electric buses, cycling paths and improved rural transit. It will mean that Canadians can get around in faster, cleaner, and more affordable ways. And it will help drive us to net-zero emissions and ensure a more sustainable future for our kids,” she said.

Around one million jobs are expected to be created by the investment, which will also see local communities provided with CA$3 billion (US$2.3 billion) a year in permanent infrastructure funding from 2026/27.

The Canadian Government said this would help people in remote and rural locations access essential services and that it would work with Indigenous communities to “create transit solutions that meet their needs.”

Trudeau said, “When we invest in public transit infrastructure, we are supporting good middle-class jobs, creating better commutes, fighting climate change, and helping make life easier and more affordable for Canadians. We will continue to do what it takes to ensure our economic recovery from Covid-19 and build back a more resilient country for everyone.”

The Canadian Government, which has invested more than $13 billion in 1,300 public transit projects since 2015, said this latest public infrastructure investment is the largest in Canadian history.

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