Today, the Government of Canada announced adjustments to the Canada Infrastructure Program to better support Canadian communities on the front-line of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new COVID-19 Resilience funding stream – worth a total of $3.3 billion – provinces, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations will receive 80 percent in federal cost sharing, while northern communities are allocated 100 percent in federal cost sharing, of infrastructure projects. Prior to this funding adjustment, the federal government provided up to 40 percent in federal funding for municipalities, 50 percent for provinces, and 50 to 60 percent for northern communities (dependent upon population size).
Eligible project costs under the COVID-19 Resilience stream must be under $10 million, construction must be started no later than September 30, 2021, and it must be completed by the end of 2021 (or by the end of 2022 in the territories and in remote communities).
Eligibility of infrastructure projects has also been adjusted to address a wider-range of COVID-19 resilience measures. As outlined by the Government of Canada, infrastructure projects related to COVID-19 eligible under the COVID-19 Resilience stream include:
- Retrofits, repairs and upgrades for provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous buildings; health infrastructure; and schools;
- COVID-19 response infrastructure, including measures to support physical distancing;
- Active transportation infrastructure, including parks, trails, foot bridges, bike lanes and multi-use paths; and
- Disaster mitigation and adaptation projects, including natural infrastructure, flood and fire mitigation, and tree planting and related infrastructure.
A detailed overview of the original Canada Infrastructure Program requirements, including project eligibility and funding breakdown, can be found here. The Government of Canada stipulated that the adjustments to the Canada Infrastructure Program are only short-term measures to address the on-going challenges of the pandemic, and that longer-term infrastructure objectives will continue to be prioritized, including those related to better public transit, high-speed broadband, wastewater infrastructure, and clean energy projects.