Modern public infrastructure is key to promoting economic growth, strengthening the middle class and developing healthy, sustainable communities. That is why the Government of Canada is renewing its commitment to local governments through the federal Gas Tax Fund and delivering much needed support for their local priorities.
British Columbia has received the first of two $140.2 million annual installments of the federalGas Tax Fund (GTF), along with a top-up of $278.6 million, made available through Budget 2019. This top-up doubles the amount of money for B.C. communities, based on their allocations for 2018-19, enabling them to carry out infrastructure projects that support the well-being of their residents.
The federal GTF is a long-term, indexed source of funding that supports a diverse range of local infrastructure projects across the province each year. For example, the City of Kimberley used Gas Tax funding to reconstruct Gerry Sorensen Way, the major connector between the resort municipality’s downtown core and the local ski areas. The Village of Granisle has achieved carbon neutral status by installing a Bioenergy District Heating system. In the Cariboo Regional District, residents are benefitting from an upgraded and expanded aquatic centre at Sam Ketcham Pool.
This predictable funding, enhanced by a doubling of the 2018-19 GTF allocations, as announced in Budget 2019, is allowing communities to plan for current and future infrastructure priorities, so they can build the resilient infrastructure of the 21st century that residents deserve, and help ensure that B.C. remains among the best places in the world to live.
“The Government of Canada is proud to deliver this stable, predictable long-term funding that communities rely on to develop their public infrastructure. By working with other orders of government, we are making significant progress and delivering concrete results for all Canadians. From improving roads, water services and energy efficiency, to enhancing recreation and tourism centres, the federal Gas Tax Fund is helping keep families safe, promote economic development and improve people’s quality of life across the country.”
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Investing in local infrastructure helps deliver the services people count on and build strong, connected communities right across British Columbia. We are grateful to the Government of Canada for investing in communities in a way that works for them, by delivering stable funding that helps get important projects off the ground.”
Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
“Communities throughout BC are eagerly awaiting this year’s federal Gas Tax transfer. The funding increase provided by the one-time top-up will help to accelerate the upgrade, expansion and construction of locally prioritized infrastructure. Local governments across the province are appreciative of the federal government’s continued commitment to the Gas Tax program.”
Councillor Arjun Singh, President of the Union of BC Municipalities
The federal Gas Tax Fund delivers over $2 billion every year to over 3,600 communities across the country. In recent years the funding has supported approximately 4,000 projects each year.
To help address the short-term infrastructure priorities of local governments, Budget 2019 includes a top-up of $2.2 billion to the federal Gas Tax Fund.
The federal Gas Tax Fund is flexible in allowing communities to apply funding to their most pressing local needs. Communities can invest across 18 different project categories, including recreation, water systems and roads. They can also use the funds immediately for priority projects, bank them for later use, pool the dollars with other communities for shared infrastructure projects, or use them to finance major infrastructure expenditures.
Through its Investing in Canada plan (infrastructure.gc.ca) , the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
The plan includes more than $92 billion for funding such as the Gas Tax Fund and more than $95 billion in new funding for infrastructure programs.
To date, more than 48,000 projects have been approved under the plan and the majority of these projects are either underway, or already completed.