Last Updated: March 6, 2009
The Building Canada plan is a project of the Government of Canada designed to focus on Canada’s growing economy, a cleaner environment and strong and prosperous communities. Building Canada involves government funding at federal and provincial levels. Saskatchewan signed the Canada-Saskatchewan Infrastructure Framework Agreement in April 2008.
What is the purpose of Building Canada?
Building a Stronger Economy: Through investing in infrastructure, Building Canada aims to create jobs while strengthening and improving border crossings, highways, short-distance rail and shipping and regional and local airports. The idea is to promote and facilitate trade, as well as to help mitigate air pollution caused by overburdened traffic routes. Furthermore, Building Canada funds will be used to improve access to broadband technology and to invest in infrastructure that will attract tourists.
Building a Cleaner Environment: Projects improving wastewater and solid waste management and public transportation, as well as increasing availability to renewable energy, will benefit air and water quality in Canada.
Building Better Communities: Funds can be used for projects to improve drinking water, roads, bridges, and to redevelop abandoned or underutilized commercial sites. They may also be used to promote sports and culture and assist in disaster mitigation. Communities of all sizes may benefit from these projects.
How is the funding allocated?
Under the Building Canada plan, there are several major funds from which the people of Saskatchewan will benefit.
Building Canada Fund: Approximately $236 million is expected to reach Saskatchewan from this fund. Of that, roughly $95 million is to be used for projects in communities of fewer than 100,000 people under the Communities Component of the fund. The remaining $141 million will come from the Major Infrastructure Component (MIC). Money from the MIC will target large-scale projects of national and regional importance. All projects are selected based on applications and are paid two-thirds by the federal government and one-third by the provincial government.
Gas Tax Fund (GTF): Saskatchewan is expected to be provided 336.5 million from the Gas Tax Fund from 2010 to 2014. The GTF supports environmentally sustainable infrastructure, including public transport, waste management and clean energy. The GTF also provides funding for increased long-term planning of communities, including developing Integrated Community Sustainability Plans.
Goods and Services Tax Rebate: This is a 100 percent rebate of the GST paid by municipalities over the next few years. The rebate will help the provinces to provide the one-third of the funding required for each project.
Provincial/Territorial Base Fund: Each province will receive $25 million annually for a total of $175 million over seven years. This money will be used primarily to support the Core National Highway system routes, drinking water, wastewater, public transport and green energy projects.
Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund: About 7.5 million dollars will be used to ensure funding, particularly for small communities, to address infrastructure projects.
The Building Canada plan aims to create jobs and improve the economy, environment and communities across Canada. The plan promotes public-private partnerships to reduce costs associated with government projects. To date, 46 communities in Saskatchewan will receive money from Building Canada for projects to begin this year.
For more information, visit www.buildingcanada.gc.ca.ISBN/ISSN number: 1918-1728