Halton Region, Oakville and Burlington will be able to better plan for and execute local infrastructure projects thanks to the federal government’s Municipal Infrastructure Top-Up fund announced in Budget 2019.
This year, Burlington will receive over $5.6M, Oakville will receive over $5.8M, Milton over $2.7M and the Halton Region will receive nearly $16M in annual funding through the indexed fund for municipal infrastructure such as public transit, water and wastewater, local roads, sports and recreation facilities and tourism infrastructure. The projects will generate economic growth and create jobs to help ensure that the Halton Region remains among the best places in the world to live.
Federal infrastructure funding makes an important difference in the Halton Region. Previous investments have helped our communities through investments in new public transit shelters and buses, and provided repairs to wastewater plants and water mains across Halton. Through this fund, the government is providing communities like Oakville and Burlington and the Region of Halton with a one-time top-up that provides flexible funding to address their local priorities.
Part of the New Building Canada Plan, the renewed fund will allow communities to choose projects locally and prioritize them according to their needs. The up-front funding provides greater certainty for municipalities to plan and carry out projects. The Government of Canada is proud to deliver predictable, long-term funding to help municipalities build and revitalize their local public infrastructure and ensure a high quality of life for generations to come. We know that partnerships across all levels of government are essential for our communities to prosper and flourish.
“Public investments in areas like infrastructure and public transit are crucial to driving economic growth and strengthening the middle class,” said Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington. “Through my experience on Oakville Town Council, I saw first hand the benefits of funding to municipalities to help them build and revitalize their local public infrastructure while creating jobs and long term prosperity. By making smart investments in local infrastructure, we can build roads, transit and water systems that make a difference in our communities.”
In the year since the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario signed the Integrated Bilateral Agreement for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), there has been no urgency from the Province of Ontario to open intake for all of the funding streams available through the Program. The provincial government’s slow intake could mean communities might lose another construction season as good proposals from the Town of Oakville, the City of Burlington and Halton Region wait for necessary funding. Municipal proposals have been left languishing while they could be turned into work right now. The Federal Government continues to hear from dozens of Ontario mayors with urgent needs. There are billions of infrastructure dollars available; they’ve been there for a year. It is imperative that the provincial government immediately open intake to these funds.
“Our government knows how important it is to deliver services to our residents locally,” said Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington. “Municipalities should be able to move forward with their infrastructure plans – improving our roadways, increasing access to clean drinking water or promoting green infrastructure – even if the Provinces are holding back and unwilling to engage. With the Municipal Top-Up, we are delivering for Canadians.”
“Budget 2019 is an important signal to Canadians that we are making key investments for the future,” said John Oliver, Member of Parliament for Oakville. “Municipal infrastructure shortens commutes, builds resilient communities, and increases our quality of life. Our Government’s plan for a major investment in the Municipal Infrastructure Top-Up this year means $2.2 billion to help communities like Oakville become better places to work and live.”
The federal government is working hard to support municipalities while the provincial government is working just as hard to stall funding where it is needed most. The federal government’s commitment will be welcome news in Ontario because of the uncertainty these mayors have endured related to the Ford Government’s delays in starting the intake process following last year’s federal-provincial bilateral infrastructure agreement.