Ottawa, September 13, 2005

Archived - Goodale Points to Federal Commitment to Strong Infrastructure

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The federal government has made and will continue to make substantial commitments to ensure that Canada's communities have strong infrastructure in place to meet the challenges of the 21st century, Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale said in Montréal today.

"Top-notch physical infrastructure is essential to a successful economy and a rising quality of life," the Minister stated in an address to the Conseil du patronat du Québec. "It lowers the cost of doing business, serves as a magnet to draw investment and people and makes our communities attractive places in which to live and work."

Minister Goodale pointed out that over the past decade, the federal government has invested more than $12 billion in infrastructure initiatives across the country. This money has been used to repair roads, bridges and highways, construct new waste disposal facilities, and support projects that promote energy efficiency and a cleaner environment. Combined with provincial, municipal and private sector investments, the value of these projects will total more than $30 billion.

The Minister added that Budget 2005 committed the Government to renewing the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund and the Border Infrastructure Fund, while also implementing the pledge to share up to half of the federal excise tax on gasoline. This commitment will mean $5 billion in new money for infrastructure to cities and communities over the next five years, with communities in Quebec receiving some $1.1 billion.

"An agenda for Canadian growth and prosperity must include investments in those key fields that propel a modern economy into the future," the Minister concluded.

Over the next several weeks, Minister Goodale will be speaking to business groups and other organizations in cities across Canada to discuss the challenges our country needs to meet to assure its long-term growth and prosperity and to hear the views of Canadians on this important issue.

For further information, media may contact:

John Embury
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Finance
(613) 996-7861
David Gamble
Public Affairs and Operations Division
(613) 996-8080

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