Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides close to $16 billion over two years to modernize a broad range of infrastructure including our roads, bridges, public transit, parks and water treatment facilities, and to support home ownership, help stimulate the housing sector and improve housing across Canada. These investments are helping to create and maintain jobs across Canada for the benefit of all Canadians, and will ensure the country emerges from the economic downturn with a more modern and greener infrastructure.
|(millions of dollars—cash basis)|
|Investments in provincial, territorial and municipal
|Investments in First Nations infrastructure||229||285||515|
|Investments in federal infrastructure projects||943||809||1,752|
|Stimulating Housing Construction|
|Support for home ownership and the
|Investments in social housing for Canadians||1,401||2,674||4,075|
|Subtotal—Stimulating Housing Construction||4,777||3,099||7,876|
to Create Jobs
|Total—With provincial contributions||8,296||14,673||22,969|
|Note: Totals may not add due to rounding. The stimulus value reflects projected cash expenditures. The budgetary impact may be somewhat smaller because some of these expenditures relate to construction and renovation costs of federal assets (for which only depreciation is recorded on a budgetary basis) and loans to third parties (where there is a budgetary impact only in the event that there is a risk of loss).|
Infrastructure and housing projects are underway across the country. Virtually all funds earmarked for these investments have been committed. Thousands of infrastructure and housing projects are underway and will be completed over the course of 2010–11, creating significant new direct employment in the construction and manufacturing industries.
As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government launched a number of new initiatives to stimulate additional investment in provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure during the 2009 and 2010 construction seasons. These new stimulus initiatives consisted of the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, top-up funding for community projects, the Green Infrastructure Fund, funding for recreational trails, and the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program.
By working closely with each province and territory to approve projects quickly, the Government has committed, through these new initiatives, close to $5.6 billion in stimulus funding towards about 7,000 projects. Provinces, territories, municipalities and other partners are also contributing towards these projects, thereby generating a total investment in public infrastructure of some $15 billion at a critical time.
In addition to launching new stimulus initiatives, the Government has taken steps to accelerate funding under Building Canada initiatives that were announced in Budget 2007. These steps were designed to further increase investment during the 2009 and 2010 construction seasons.
Taking into account both the new stimulus initiatives and accelerated Building Canada initiatives, the Government has committed close to $11 billion towards approximately 8,000 provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure projects since the launch of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Combined with contributions from other partners, these projects represent a total investment of over $33 billion in infrastructure. Some of these projects, particularly the larger-scale ones being funded under the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund, will extend beyond 2010–11.
Every region of the country is benefiting from investments in various types of provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure that are being generated thanks to Canada’s Economic Action Plan.
In Budget 2007, the Government announced the unprecedented seven-year $33-billion Building Canada Plan. Under Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government is accelerating and expanding this historic investment in infrastructure.
As a result of these investments, the amount of federal funding available to provinces, territories and municipalities for infrastructure projects will rise to more than $11 billion in 2010–11, almost three times what was available in 2008–09. Funding in 2010–11 has been revised upwards for a number of infrastructure initiatives, as unspent funds from 2009–10 have been reallocated to projects where work will be made up in 2010–11.
Specific actions taken since January 27, 2009 to expedite existing funding under Building Canada initiatives include:
Through these actions, hundreds of smaller-scale and major infrastructure projects are underway. Work will continue on these projects in the coming years, thereby helping sustain construction activity over the long term.
Work is underway to provide Torontonians with a new light rail line, thanks to $333 million in federal infrastructure funding. The 15-kilometre line is being built on Sheppard Avenue East running from the Don Mills Subway Station to Meadowvale Road. It will replace the Scarborough East bus line and connect to the Sheppard subway line, the York Region Transit/VIVA bus service and future transit expansions. This major investment is helping create jobs in the short term, and will also help increase ridership, reduce travel times and improve air quality.
The Government of Canada is investing over $10 million to ensure safer, more efficient travel along Highway 97 in the Kelowna/Okanagan area. This major road project involves replacing the current intersection of Westside Road and Highway 97 with a grade-separated interchange. Once complete, these changes will go a long way in improving road network connections, reducing traffic congestion and travel times, and improving road safety for drivers. Business, travellers and local citizens alike will enjoy the benefits of the renewed highway.
Infrastructure Stimulus Fund: Working in partnership with provinces, territories and municipalities, all of the funding for projects under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund was committed by January 29, 2010.
This funding was allocated toward approximately 4,000 projects across Canada, representing a total investment of about $10 billion. Following January 2010, many jurisdictions reported that the amount required for approved projects had been less than expected. In most cases, this has been the by-product of very competitive tender prices from contractors. In a few other cases, projects were withdrawn by proponents. Overall, since the deadline, this has generated savings. Working with our partners, the Government has moved quickly to reallocate and reinvest the bulk of these savings into new projects, providing additional benefits.
Virtually all projects are underway or completed and over 23 per cent are scheduled to end earlier than planned. Current monitoring of projects shows that approximately two-thirds of projects will be finished by the end of December 2010.
As a result, infrastructure is being renewed and improved in communities throughout Canada in the following sectors:
The new Christina Living Arts Centre features green design from its roof to its geothermal foundation. Construction is 95 per cent complete on an organic waste processing facility next door thanks to about $133,000 from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. This Solar Aquatics System will use biological methods to break down waste generated by the Centre, by visiting recreational vehicles and by the surrounding community. Plans also include the sale of the resulting by-product as a natural fertilizer. The facility is expected to draw even more visitors to this popular recreational area as researchers and students come to learn from the unique system.
The local population is seeing real benefits from $467,000 in federal investment in four area bridge projects. With the community’s projects now complete, heavier truckloads and agricultural equipment can make their way around the area more safely and easily. The better movement of goods and services supports the local economy and families alike.
Route 2 is an essential road linking the far ends of Prince Edward Island and passing through a multitude of communities. Near Lady Slipper, however, part of this route had been showing its age. The province used $1.25 million from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to widen six kilometres of the road, apply new asphalt and rebuild the road shoulders. Now that the work is finished, citizens and businesses will benefit from the improved safety and the flow of goods and services throughout the area for years to come.
In Princeville, the Pierre-Prince Community Centre plays an essential role in town life, but until recently, had gone 35 years without major repairs. Now, thanks to more than $126,000 from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the Centre has upgraded its interior, including building a new stage, upgrading its electrical equipment and improving accessibility. The facade and entranceway have also been renovated.
As of March 31, 2010, more than $525 million in funding has been paid out to recipients (such as provinces, territories and municipalities) under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. Unspent funds from 2009–10 have been reallocated to 2010–11. This is a result of a number of factors, including lower-than-anticipated project costs, as well as lags in the submission of claims from provinces and territories and other recipients. Although 99 per cent of projects have begun or are completed, the federal government has not always been invoiced for payment of eligible costs as they are incurred. In many cases, entire projects are finished before a claim is submitted. There are more than 1,600 projects that are underway or completed for which recipients have not submitted any claims (see box below).
Infrastructure Stimulus Fund total expenditures more than doubled to $1.1 billion as of July 31, 2010 and will continue to grow as claims are submitted for work done during the 2010 summer construction season.
Bonus for Community Projects: Canada’s Economic Action Plan included $500 million to top up the more than $1 billion in initial funding that was made available under the Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund. To access this top-up, provinces had to meet two conditions: first, they had to exhaust their share of the initial funding under the Communities Component, and second, they had to direct the top-up funding toward projects that would be built by March 31, 2011. All 10 provinces met these two conditions. As a result, the top-up has been fully committed toward more than 530 projects, representing a total investment of over $1.5 billion in community infrastructure. 99 per cent of projects are underway or completed.
As of March 31, 2010, approximately $30 million in funding had flowed under the Bonus for Community Projects. As is the case for the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, amounts paid are based on claims received and, as such, do not reflect actual economic activity. There are over 130 projects that are underway or completed for which recipients have not submitted any claims (see box below).
Provinces, territories and municipalities typically receive invoices from the contractor(s) carrying out the work at periodic intervals or, in some cases, only when the project is complete. These governments then submit claims for costs incurred to the Government of Canada. As a result, there is a natural lag between the time when the work is being undertaken, to when a province/territory/municipality is billed for the work, to when they conduct their due diligence review of costs, to when a claim is actually submitted to the Government of Canada for reimbursement. This is a normal situation for infrastructure projects involving multiple partners.
Based on reports from recipients, there are more than 1,600 projects under the $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund and over 130 projects under the $500-million top-up to the Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund that are underway or completed, but for which no claims have yet been submitted.
In Langford, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, torrential rains can raise the water levels of nearby Firehall Creek. The resulting floods frequently exceed the capacity of the stormwater system. When this happens, the city and homeowners end up with extensive damage to property and infrastructure, mounds of garbage and debris, and costly repair bills.
Through $614,075 in federal funding, matched by provincial and municipal contributions, work began in the fall of 2009 to widen and deepen an existing flood control ditch to protect houses on the southwest side of Langford.
The funding will also support a 2,500 m3 stormwater detention pond. The deeper ditch and added pond will dramatically increase Langford’s capacity to manage major rain events, and protect its 22,000 citizens and their properties.
The Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission is benefiting from a $220,477 federal contribution to build a sorting conveyor that simplifies the separation of recyclable materials from garbage headed to the landfill. New baling equipment will mean that sorted materials can be packaged on site for direct shipment to buyers.
With fewer recyclables ending up in landfills, and improved sales of recyclable materials, the City of Saint John will be in a better position to take on additional environmental initiatives.
Note: Across Canada, a total of over 7,000 project commitments have been made under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the Bonus for Community Projects, Recreational Infrastructure Canada and the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The total federal contribution to these projects is approximately $7 billion.
Green Infrastructure Fund: The Government has committed $779 million under the Green Infrastructure Fund toward 21 projects. Provinces, territories, municipalities and the private sector are also contributing funding towards these projects, which will be built over the coming year, thereby bringing the total investment to more than $2 billion.
Federal investments in green infrastructure include:
The Government is actively considering additional projects for funding under the five-year Green Infrastructure Fund.
National Recreational Trails: Canada’s Economic Action Plan made available $25 million to the National Trails Coalition to help build and renew recreational trails for walking, running, cross-country skiing and biking, as well as snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle trails. The funding supported a total of 474 projects that were completed by March 31, 2010. Thanks to additional contributions from the coalition and its partners, these projects represented a total investment of close to $57 million.
Recreational Infrastructure Canada: Hockey arenas, soccer fields, tennis courts and swimming pools provide Canadians and their families with the benefits of physical activity and community-based experience.
The Economic Action Plan provided $500 million over two years for the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program, supporting the construction of new facilities and upgrades to existing ones across the country.
To date, virtually all funding has been committed to almost 2,000 projects across the country, of which over 1,900 projects are already underway or completed, creating significant new economic activity in all parts of Canada.
Having received $365,985, the Maskwa Aquatic Club is increasing its existing recreational infrastructure capacity through the addition of a recreational multipurpose centre, which includes a boathouse, a clubhouse facility with a fitness centre, volleyball and basketball courts, and aquatic sport activities. This 1-year project created 52 person-months of employment, which is equivalent to 4 full-time jobs.
The Peace River Regional District has replaced Buick Creek’s outdoor arena with a new indoor arena. Buick Creek is a rural and remote northern location, with the nearest indoor rink located 80 kilometres away. The new facility can be used as an ice arena for an additional 6 months per year. The facility can also be converted into basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer areas (amenities that were previously unavailable). The project included a kitchen, front entrance, sound system, score clock, water recycling system, ice plant and upgraded surface for artificial ice. This project created or maintained 245 person-months of employment and has been completed.
Upgrading of the Bancroft Arena, originally built in 1972, has been completed. The renovation included exterior walls remediation and insulation to increase the energy efficiency of the arena. The project, which received $20,000 in federal funding, created the equivalent of approximately 8 person-months of employment in construction-related industries.
The Louis-Cyr regional sports centre has been renovated and brought up to standard with a new multi-use hall for aerobic, dance and karate classes; new boards around the skating rink; and renovated locker rooms and service facilities. The Government of Canada has provided $196,945 out of a total project cost of $786,532.
Public-Private Partnerships (P3s): The Government of Canada is committed to becoming a leader in P3s. In 2008, the Government created PPP Canada Inc., a new Crown corporation, to spearhead federal P3 efforts and to administer a $1.2-billion P3 Fund to further develop Canada’s P3 market. The P3 Fund, which was launched in September 2009, is the first infrastructure initiative in Canada to focus exclusively on P3 projects. The first investments under the Fund were announced earlier this year and more investments are expected in the coming months. Round 2 for project proposals under the Fund closed on June 30, 2010. A total of 68 proposals in 11 provinces and territories were received. Of those projects, over half (35) are municipal infrastructure projects, 7 are water or wastewater projects, 13 are energy or green energy projects; 18 are transportation-related projects, and 12 are First Nations projects. Several sports, recreation and tourism-related projects were also submitted.
PPP Canada has committed $75 million so far toward Round 1 projects and anticipates investments of over $200 million in Round 2. There will be further calls for project submissions in the future.
On May 10, 2010, the Government of Canada announced an investment of up to $50 million from the P3 Fund to support the implementation of the Maritime Radio Communications Initiative. Along with the investment from the federal government, the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will partner with the private sector to deliver an innovative radio communications system that will improve safety and security by linking all emergency services in the three provinces.
On July 12, 2010, the Government of Canada announced it will contribute up to $25 million through the P3 Fund towards the Chief Peguis Trail extension in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Along with the investment from the federal government, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg will partner with the private sector to deliver necessary improvements to the extension. The Province of Manitoba will invest up to $9 million while the remainder of the project’s construction and maintenance costs will be financed by the City of Winnipeg. The project will significantly reduce traffic on residential streets and improve the safety and security of families in the area, as well as shorten commute times for Winnipeggers. The project will include noise walls to reduce traffic noise; landscaping; and multi-use pathways to encourage walking and cycling.
The Government of Canada provides financial support to First Nations to develop and maintain community infrastructure on reserve. This infrastructure is critical for the delivery of basic services to First Nations communities.
The Economic Action Plan provided $515 million over two years to support infrastructure projects in three priority areas: schools, water and wastewater projects, and health and police facilities in First Nations communities. Virtually all of these funds have now been committed, construction is well underway and many projects have been completed.
Investments in 2009–10 and 2010–11 are spurring job creation and economic development in First Nations communities:
Students of the Birch Narrows Dene First Nation began the 2010–11 academic year in a new school—the first Action Plan-funded First Nations school construction project to be completed. “Being able to educate our children within our community will result in numerous benefits,” said Chief Robert Sylvester. “This school will help to enhance our rate of students graduating, which should translate into an increase in the number of students who continue their education beyond Grade 12.”
The Economic Action Plan invested $20.3 million in the new school, worth $25 million, with the balance of funding coming from the Government of Saskatchewan and the First Nation. Construction was completed 11 weeks ahead of schedule and generated more than 105,000 hours of labour, including 60,000 hours for members of the community.
Birch Narrows is located approximately 580 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.
$13 million is being invested through the Economic Action Plan to upgrade the water treatment system on the Kahnawake First Nation. The upgrades will allow the community to meet its development needs and accommodate its growing population. Construction began in October 2009 and is expected to be completed in November 2010.
The Kahnawake First Nation is located 10 kilometres southwest of Montréal and is one of the most populous Aboriginal communities in Canada, with 7,556 members on reserve.
A new $2.13 million health centre on the Pic Mobert First Nation officially opened its doors in July 2010. “It’s a really exciting opportunity for the community to have a fully functioning health centre that was built by members of our community,” Pic Mobert Chief Johanna Desmoulin said. The new facility supports nine staff members and should accommodate the needs of the community as it grows and changes.
A new nursing station valued at $5.6 million is under construction to replace an existing health facility dating from 1983. The First Nations community is located approximately 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Construction is expected to be completed by February 2011.
Construction is underway on a new $2.58 million multipurpose health station to replace the current health station. The Huu-ay-aht First Nation is located approximately 200 kilometres northwest of Victoria. Construction is expected to be completed by February 2011.
Federal infrastructure projects, including investments in faster and more reliable passenger rail services, safer bridges and highways, refurbished harbours for small crafts and more efficient border crossings, are now underway, creating jobs across the country.
VIA Rail: Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides funding for a wide range of projects designed to modernize rail passenger services through improvements to infrastructure, locomotives, passenger cars, stations and related facilities. VIA Rail was able to accelerate its capital projects as a result of $407 million in Economic Action Plan funds that were provided over a three-year period.
Since the last Report to Canadians, VIA Rail has awarded a $20-million contract to upgrade the rail infrastructure between Brockville and Smiths Falls, Ontario. A signal system to control and monitor train movements will be installed and highway-crossing protection will be upgraded to improve safety. Other improvements include the construction of two sidings to allow trains to pass at more locations and to increase the number of trains that can be operated over the line, along with other upgrades to reduce trip times between Ottawa and Toronto. This project is expected to be completed in early 2011.
Additionally, VIA Rail announced in March 2010 that new stations, costing a total of $8 million, will be built at Smiths Falls and Windsor, Ontario. These projects are to be completed in early 2011.
In March 2010, Industrial Rail Services Inc. (IRSI) of Moncton, New Brunswick was awarded a $12.6-million contract to rebuild six Rail Diesel Cars (RDC). These will be used on VIA services between Sudbury and White River in Ontario and between Victoria and Courtenay in British Columbia. The cost is fully funded through the Economic Action Plan.
The first of the six rebuilt RDC’s will be delivered by IRSI in April 2011 and the rest of the cars will be completed by the end of that year. The contract will support 31 to 40 positions at IRSI and generate 22.5 person-years of direct employment as well as foster economic activity for numerous suppliers.
Remote Passenger Rail Services: Canada’s Economic Action Plan supports two remote passenger rail services: Keewatin Railway, which operates between The Pas and Pukatawagan (northern Manitoba), and Tshiuetin Rail Transportation, which operates between Sept-Îles and Schefferville (northern Quebec) as well as in Labrador. These two First Nations-owned companies serve remote Aboriginal communities. Funding from the Economic Action Plan has helped complete construction of a new passenger waiting station, purchase a locomotive, and complete important track maintenance work involving replacement of ties, rails and culverts.
In Budget 2010, the Government announced funding of $32 million over two years for the Regional and Remote Passenger Rail Services Contribution Program, which supports these two railways and other remote and regional rail services across Canada.
Federal Bridges: Canada’s Economic Action Plan includes projects at the following bridges:
Federal Buildings: The Economic Action Plan committed significant funds to repair and renovate the federal government’s building portfolio. A total of 866 repair and renovation projects have already been completed and over 1,000 projects worth over $215 million are currently underway.
In addition, funding was provided to enhance the accessibility of Crown-owned buildings for persons with disabilities. To date, 140 projects have been completed and over 179 projects worth about $22 million are currently underway. Priority continues to be given to facilities where services are provided directly to Canadians. Projects include:
Most of these projects are contracted through Public Works and Government Services Canada’s private sector building management service provider. To date, the service provider has contracted nearly 600 vendors for the Economic Action Plan investments alone, who in turn contract a large number of sub-contractors, including small and medium-sized enterprises, from coast to coast to coast to deliver this program.
This project brought the existing building up to the current accessibility standards so that the workplace is as inclusive as possible. Upgrades included increasing the number of accessible parking stalls, adding ramps and handrails, as well as making washrooms and the kitchenette more accessible.
Public Works and Government Services Canada renovated the Government of Canada building, which was built in 1913. The scope of work included the replacement of 81 windows on three floors and in the clock tower. The new windows provide higher energy efficiency, which reduces infiltration and energy requirements, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This project includes the replacement of both the upper and lower roof systems at the Government of Canada building. The work also includes repairs of corroded areas of the metal deck and removal of anchors. The new high performance roofing system provides an environmentally sensitive solution, and the cleaning, priming and recoating of the metal deck will arrest the corrosion in the affected areas.
The Economic Action Plan also provided $2 million over two years for the development of a comprehensive plan to secure the future of the historic Manège Militaire in the city of Québec. The results of public consultations were released in October 2009 and a real property consultant has been selected to conduct a feasibility and profitability study. The recommendations from this study were received in December. The Government remains firmly committed to the reconstruction of this historic site. The initial rehabilitation work has been authorized and initiated. Work must be done to prepare the site for reconstruction, to maintain and preserve the building, and to ensure workers’ safety. Contracts to have the building interior thoroughly cleaned and heritage elements preserved are also anticipated.
Alaska Highway: On sections of the Alaska Highway from Summit Lake, British Columbia to the Yukon border, deck repairs to eight bridges were completed, 28 kilometres of asphalt road surface was repaved, and an intersection was rebuilt to make it safer. These projects totalled $12 million and were all completed on budget during the short northern summer construction period. Additional work to stabilize erosion and install new culverts was also completed.
Twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park: The project involves two separate design/build tenders: one for the Icefields Interchange and a second for the twinning of six kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway between the Interchange and the Alberta-British Columbia border. The Icefields Interchange design/build contract is approximately 80 per cent complete and, weather permitting, the Interchange will be fully operational by the late fall of 2010. For the twinning of the highway to the border with British Columbia, the design/build contract has been awarded and detailed design has commenced. Construction is anticipated to commence in early 2011 with completion scheduled in the fall of 2012.
Small Craft Harbours: Implementation of the Small Craft Harbours Accelerated Infrastructure Program is on track. To date, 130 repair, maintenance and dredging projects have been completed and an additional 140 are underway. Stimulus provided in 2009–10 totalled $113 million. A further $87 million is committed in 2010–11.
The construction of a small craft harbour in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, is progressing. In 2009–10, $4.3 million was spent. The remaining $12.7 million in Economic Action Plan funds available in 2010–11 is fully committed.
Shippagan is one of the largest and busiest harbours in the important commercial fishery of northern New Brunswick. Adequate service wharf capacity is essential at a harbour where more than 100 vessels load supplies and offload their catch for processing at area fish plants. Barricades across two important wharves were a serious impediment to service and berthage capacity in the harbour.
Major project work, with Economic Action Plan funding, is nearing completion and both wharves are expected to be back in full service this fall. The rehabilitated infrastructure will greatly improve safety and efficiency at Shippagan harbour.
Improvements to the service area at Pool’s Cove on the south coast of Newfoundland have resulted in a much more efficient and effective use of the upland area near the main wharf. Small boat fishers can now access the water using a newly constructed launchway and repair their fishing gear on an improved service area. The wharf is also used as a landing point for a local ferry. A $422,122 contract was awarded to Seagull Construction on November 3, 2009, and the work was completed on May 17, 2010.
Berens River is a remote Aboriginal community located 280 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Berens River is an active fishing community with over 65 commercial fishers. A new timber crib wharf, which increases landing capacity and provides improved vessel berthing for commercial fishers, was built on Sigurdsson Island in the community of Berens River. A contract for $185,000 was awarded to Lindell-Dymterko Ltd. and the project was completed on March 17, 2010.
Federal Contaminated Sites: The Government is accelerating work to assess and remediate federal contaminated sites, with over $200 million worth of projects underway or completed. This work is helping to create jobs and economic activity in communities across Canada, while contributing new green spaces and cleaner bodies of water and soils, and enabling long-term development. Departments have selected over 195 projects for accelerated remediation and will conduct over 1,900 site assessments in 2009–10 and 2010–11.
For example, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada was allocated $2.2 million over two years to remediate petroleum hydrocarbon-related contaminants in soil and groundwater in a residential area on Watson Island, British Columbia. This remote project site is of significant ecological, cultural and archaeological value to the Gwawaenuk First Nation.
Aviation Security: Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides a much-needed boost to aviation security.
In addition to investments made under the Economic Action Plan, Budget 2010 provided significant funding for new initiatives to modernize Canada’s transportation infrastructure, including:
The Government also announced its intention to increase its financial participation in the new Windsor-Detroit international crossing to help advance this important national priority.
To stimulate Canada’s construction industry and protect and create jobs, the Government provided significant support for home ownership and renovations. It is also making investments to renew Canada’s social housing and improve municipal housing–related infrastructure.
The housing industry is an important source of economic activity and job creation in Canada, as it promotes demand for building materials and other goods and services. For many Canadians, their homes are their most important investment.
Canadians who undertook eligible renovations to their homes after
January 27, 2009 and before February 1, 2010 were entitled to receive up to $1,350 in tax relief from the temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) introduced last year in Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The HRTC expired as planned on January 31, 2010. With support from the HRTC, real spending on residential renovations rebounded strongly, increasing by an average of 18.5 per cent over the four quarters up to the first quarter of 2010 (Chart 2.3.4).
Canada’s Economic Action Plan has provided additional tax support to first-time home buyers, who benefit from greater access to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan savings to purchase or build a home, as well as up to $750 in tax relief from the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit.
The temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) provided timely stimulus to the Canadian economy while boosting energy efficiency and the value of Canada’s housing stock. The HRTC has provided an estimated 4.6 million Canadian families with up to $1,350 in tax relief on eligible renovation projects.
There is a clear public consensus that the HRTC has been a powerful incentive for Canadians to invest in their homes—thereby supporting employment in the construction industry.
We estimate that the tax credit likely bolstered renovation activity by an additional $4.3 billion above what it would have been over January 2009 to January 2010—which represents a 0.3% boost to real GDP. As a result, renovation investment was one of the first components of the Canadian economy to fully bounce back from the economic downturn … Were it not for government economic stimulus, renovation investment would have been materially weaker in 2009… The renovation stimulus measure helped to support a Canadian economic recovery through increasing demand for housing-related goods and services at a time when most other areas of the economy remain weak.
— TD Economics Observation, February 17, 2010
I think there’s no question it’s increased economic activity, it’s created jobs, it’s definitely shown consumer confidence in renovating their homes, and I think it’s done a lot of good for the industry and for consumers … it obviously has kept the industry stronger in these tough times and in job creation as well.
— Canadian Home Builders’ Association.
House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, November 3, 2009
I think this is a great idea. Anything that is getting people to spend money when they normally wouldn’t and gives them a break at the same time is good. We are seeing money pumping into the economy for buying materials and other things and it all gets passed down the line, right down to the truck driving and transport industry.
— Mark Buyan of MB Home Improvements & Construction
(Penticton, British Columbia).
Penticton Western News, January 7, 2010
Manufacturers in Manitoba have been getting a shot in the arm from an unlikely source—the federal home renovation tax credit program, which is bolstering sales and saving jobs. The chief executive (Craig McIntosh) of Acrylon Plastics, which manufactures PVC window frames, said the home renovation tax credit program has sent window-frame sales into record-setting territory for the Winnipeg company. “The renovation side (of the housing market) just really took off in April and May and it hasn’t slowed down at all … It was a record November for us.” Before last spring, when the impact of the two-month-old federal HRTC program really started to be felt, Acrylon had been girding for the worst … Then along came the HRTC program … For firms like Acrylon, it was the perfect tonic … “We were getting ready for it to be a very slow summer … Then all of a sudden we were saying, ‘What recession?’”
— Winnipeg Free Press, December 2, 2009
While final results on the take-up of the HRTC are not yet available, all indicators to date clearly point to the timeliness and effectiveness of this measure in achieving its objective for the benefit of Canadian families and the economy as a whole. It has been a worthy complement to other government measures in support of homeownership, such as:
Homeowners have also benefited from the enhanced ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. The additional $300 million provided through the Economic Action Plan is expected to support an estimated 200,000 home retrofits.
The program has experienced unprecedented demand since the Economic Action Plan was announced and has met its targets. In response, the Government allocated $205 million from the Clean Energy Fund to finance up to an additional 120,000 retrofits for Canadian homeowners. A further $80 million was provided to the program, bringing the total increase in funding for the program through the Economic Action Plan to $585 million.
Over the past year, historic investments in social housing have contributed significantly to supporting Canada’s housing construction and renovation industries. Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, federal commitments of more than $1 billion in 2009–10 have helped Canadian families find suitable and affordable housing, while putting Canadians back to work.
More than $1 billion in funding is also available in 2010–11, bringing the total federal investment in social housing to over $2 billion. Funding for 2009–10 and 2010–11 has been fully committed.
Over $1.3 billion of this two-year investment is being matched by provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for program design and delivery. As a result of this joint investment in social housing, over 6,800 construction and renovation projects are underway or have been completed across the country. This includes the construction of 285 projects for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities, and the renovation of 6,533 existing social housing projects nationwide. These projects support some of the most vulnerable in our communities, single-parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal Canadians living off reserve.
Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, a federal investment of $1.6 million is contributing to a new housing development in Fredericton that will create 40 units for low-income seniors, including 4 accessible units for those with disabilities. This project is being developed by Tannery Court Co-operative Ltd., a non-profit organization that works with community agencies to provide residents with life skills, employment counselling and help reintegrating into the community.
We are pleased to work together to provide affordable and safe accommodations for low-income seniors, families and those who have accessibility needs in the Fredericton region.
— The Honourable Kelly Lamrock, New Brunswick Minister of Social
Development and Minister Responsible for Housing
As a result of a $2.3-million federal-provincial investment through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Prince Albert Community Housing Society is creating 18 new affordable apartments for seniors in Prince Albert. The non-profit housing corporation owns and manages a housing portfolio of more than 260 affordable rental units in the community. The federal-provincial investment is helping it undertake the development of the new housing, which will allow seniors to stay in their community close to family and friends.
This project exemplifies a commitment on our part to work with the federal government to improve the quality of life for lower income Saskatchewan seniors, and to help them remain in their communities.
— Darryl Hickie, MLA for Prince Albert Carlton, Saskatchewan
The Government of Canada is also investing $150 million in 2009–10 and 2010–11 to renovate and retrofit federally administered social housing. Currently, there are 1,109 projects underway or completed.
In addition, $400 million is being invested over two years through the Economic Action Plan in support of housing in over 495 First Nations communities. A further $200 million is being invested in the North to address their housing needs with over 186 projects underway or completed.
The Blood Tribe First Nation community is receiving a federal investment of over $1.2 million through Canada’s Economic Action Plan to help improve housing conditions for households on reserve. With this investment, the community will retrofit 42 social housing units on reserve and will undertake other renovations and lot servicing. In addition to improving housing conditions for families, these retrofits are playing a key role in a construction training program, helping the First Nation to move forward in building capacity and providing a skilled labour force.
We wish to acknowledge all stakeholders including Government, Industry, and the Blood Tribe, in its effort to meet the housing and infrastructure needs of our Blood Tribe members. This program is much needed and will provide many opportunities for our members and at the same time improve the housing conditions here in our community.
— Chief Charles Weasel Head, The Blood Tribe, Alberta
Six Yukon families will soon be able to move into a 6-unit townhouse complex in the Ingram subdivision of Whitehorse as a result of a federal investment of $2.1 million through Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The new affordable homes are barrier-free and are being constructed to meet Yukon Housing Corporation’s Super GreenHome standards, which will help provide green build training to the construction industry. The Kwanlin Dün First Nation Development Corporation is constructing the project for Yukon Housing Corporation.
Investing in our existing social housing stocks helps extend the life of the buildings and the retrofits will result in better, more comfortable housing for our clients.
— The Honourable Jim Kenyon, Minister Responsible for
Yukon Housing Corporation
In addition to direct funding for social housing, 179 low-cost loans for over $1 billion have been approved to date, allowing municipalities to undertake housing-related infrastructure projects.
The City of Summerside received approval for an $8-million direct low-cost loan through the Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program for the development of a new wind farm located on the north side of Prince Edward Island. The farm will produce green, sustainable electricity for Summerside’s 15,000 residents. Once the installation of four wind turbines and the construction of related transmission infrastructure is complete, the City expects to supply 27 per cent of Summerside’s energy needs to more than 6,700 homes.
Producing wind energy was made a priority by our province and City, and having the opportunity to borrow this money through Canada’s Economic Action Plan has allowed the City to decrease the cost of borrowing.
— Basil Stewart, Mayor, City of Summerside, P.E.I.
The Town of Saugeen Shores has been approved for almost $5.3 million in low-cost loans from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC’s) Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program to expand its wastewater treatment facilities, including the construction of a new sewage pumping station and new septage receiving station. For this municipality located on the shoreline of Lake Huron in Ontario, the upgrades will improve the management and efficiency of municipal wastewater infrastructure.
CMHC has provided the Town of Saugeen Shores with low-cost financing for two major infrastructure projects. The ability to finance this work over a fifteen year term, at a fixed rate of interest, guarantees a stable repayment plan that can be built into the municipal sewer rate.
— Mike Smith, Mayor, Town of Saugeen Shores
|(millions of dollars)|
|Investments in Provincial, Territorial and Municipal Infrastructure|
|Accelerating payments: Provincial/Territorial
Base Funding Initiative
|Infrastructure Stimulus Fund||525||3,4752||3,4752|
|Bonus for Community Projects||30||470||470|
|Green Infrastructure Fund||5||122||122|
|National recreation trails||25||–||–|
|Recreational Infrastructure Canada||87||4113||4033|
|Investments in First Nations Infrastructure|
|Water and wastewater projects||69||125||125|
|Critical community services (health facilities)||67||68||68|
|Critical community services (police facilities)||12||3||–|
|An improved rail system||138||218||199|
|Small craft harbours||117||100||100|
|Repair and restoration of federal buildings||171||158||145|
|Enhancing accessibility of federal buildings||16||20||20|
|Manège Militaire in Québec City||1||1||1|
|Accelerating action on federal contaminated sites||88||150||121|
|Support for Home Ownership
and the Housing Industry
|Home Renovation Tax Credit||3,000||–||–|
|Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit||15||15||15|
|First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit||175||180||180|
|EcoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program||186||230||230|
|Investments in Social Housing for Canadians|
|Renovation and retrofit of social housing
|Renovation and retrofit of social housing (federal)||67||83||83|
|First Nations housing—CMHC4||125||125||125|
|First Nations housing—Indian and Northern
|Housing for low-income seniors||200||200||200|
|Housing for persons with disabilities||25||50||50|
|Loans to municipalities: housing-related
|Total—Building Infrastructure to Create Jobs||6,802||8,869||8,758|
|1 Includes estimated values for tax reduction measures.
2 This includes funding transferred to federal assets (e.g., $66.8 million reallocated to Parks Canada to upgrade additional National Historic Sites and visitor facilities) and amounts for administrative costs.
3 $35 million of funding under Recreational Infrastructure Canada for projects in Quebec is being used to support the forestry sector in Quebec.
4 This includes $125 million, split equally over 2009–10 and 2010–11, for the New Construction Initiative for on-reserve housing.
5 Represents approved loan amounts as of March 31, 2010.
Note: Across Canada, a total of over 7,000 project commitments have been made under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the Bonus for Community Projects, Recreational Infrastructure Canada and the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The total federal contribution to these projects is approximately $7 billion.