Executive Summary – Overview of Canada’s Long-term Infrastructure Plan

(Disponible en français : Résumé – Aperçu du plan d’infrastructure à long terme du Canada)

Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada has committed to providing more than $187 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years, including through bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories. Infrastructure Canada is the government agency responsible for coordinating the Investing in Canada plan and reporting on results; however, the investments made through the plan will be delivered by 14 federal departments and agencies.

In addition to the infrastructure programs in place prior to Budget 2016 (representing approximately $92 billion in funding), phases I and II of the Investing in Canada plan outlined investments of $14.4 billion and $81 billion, respectively. Accelerated spending in phase I sought to stimulate short-term economic growth, while phase II spending was intended to establish a longer-term infrastructure plan. Funds through the Investing in Canada plan are aligned with the following five priority investment streams:

  • public transit;
  • green infrastructure;
  • social infrastructure;
  • rural and northern communities; and
  • trade and transportation infrastructure.

In phase II of the plan, Infrastructure Canada added two new requirements for projects costing $10 million and over. Going forward, proponents must take into account how the project will affect climate change and must set targets for community employment benefits for under-represented groups. The September 2019 update from Infrastructure Canada indicated that 48,700 projects have been approved to date as part of the Investing in Canada plan.

In the fall of 2016, the government announced that it would be providing $35 billion in federal funding over 11 years to the newly established Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), also as part of the Investing in Canada plan.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance have all reviewed the federal government’s infrastructure spending. They identified that the federal funds allocated during phase I of the plan lagged behind the timeline established in Budget 2016. According to one PBO report, these delays were largely due to implementation delays at the provincial or municipal level.

Read the full text of the Background Paper: Overview of Canada’s Long-term Infrastructure Plan

Authors: Geneviève Gosselin and Emmanuel Preville, Library of Parliament