Revelstoke wants a slice of Ottawa’s $53 billion infrastructure pie

There are $53 billion in federal funding available for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure projects as a result of last week’s national budget, says MP David Wilks.

David Wilks, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Kootenay Columbia, said Ottawa’s New Building Canada Plan includes dedicated funding for small communities, provincial-territorial allocations, project categories eligible for support, cost-sharing thresholds and public-private partnership (P3) screening requirements.

“Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on our government’s historic infrastructure investments, with $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, including the $53 billion New Building Canada Plan for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure,” he said in a statement. “The New Building Canada Plan, which is expected to launch in spring 2014, is the largest, long-term infrastructure plan in our nation’s history and it will continue to focus on projects that enhance economic growth.”

In 2007, our government provided $33 billion in stable, flexible and predictable funding across the country. In fact, $6 billion under existing programs will continue to flow to projects across the country this year and beyond, and municipalities are also receiving $2 billion a year through the federal Gas Tax Fund.

According to Wilks’ statement:

  • The $53 billion New Building Canada Plan is the largest, long-term federal infrastructure plan in Canadian history, providing stable funding for a 10-year period.
  • Over $32 billion is specifically available for municipalities through the permanent and indexed Gas Tax Fund and the incremental Goods and Services Tax Rebate for municipalities.
  • The government’s new plan includes a $14 billion New Building Canada Fund, which will have $10 billion for provinces and territories (with $1 billion directed to small communities under 100,000) and $4 billion for projects of national significance.
  • Through the P3 Canada Fund, $1.25 billion in new funding is available.

“Our government has proudly made unprecedented investments in Canada’s infrastructure since 2006. I am extremely happy to announce that we have now released specific details about the New Building Canada Plan,” Wilks said. “With the release of these details, our communities have the information needed to develop their local infrastructure priorities and start planning for the years ahead.”

Revelstoke is strategically prepared to apply for funding both in the short term as well as the long term.

The recently endorsed City of Revelstoke 2014 Financial Plan eliminated borrowing for general infrastructure projects. However, there are projects currently approved in the budget that are in the design phase and could be brought forward if the City was able to leverage the New Building Canada Plan funds.

Short-term projects include the pedestrian improvements to Nichol Road and Arrow Heights, the sewer lift station on Front Street and Wales and intersection improvements to Fourth Street, Townley Street and Victoria Road as well as the Mutas and Victoria Road Intersection. Longer term opportunities will be identified by Council during the strategic planning sessions scheduled for March and will build on existing water, sewer and transportation plans.

“The federal funding program being offered is a ten-year plan, it is important that the City is prepared to be strategic and ensure the best opportunities for the community are on the table,” said Mike Thomas, director of Engineering and Development Services.

In 2014 the City will reconsider opportunities that may be initiated through the infrastructure funding in preparation for the 2015 projects.  Depending on the application criteria established, the five-year capital plan may be revised to ensure that the City’s funding opportunities best match the community’s greatest infrastructure needs.

Mayor David Raven said City Hall’s planning allows Revelstoke “to capitalize on opportunities such as the New Building Canada Plan in a strategic and efficient way.”

“We look forward to working with the federal and provincial governments as these opportunities under the new The New Building Canada Fund are developed,” he said.

Long-term projects being considered include the subsequent phases of district water metering including leak detection and water loss management and design and construction of the Illecillewaet Bridge.