Federal Parties Show Varying Levels of Support for Municipal Infrastructure and Climate Change

October 16, 2015 – As one of the leading voices of public infrastructure in Canada, the Ontario Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (OCSI) is committed to the sustainability of our transportation, water and sewer systems and other public infrastructure.  During this federal election, OCSI asked each of the federal leaders about their party’s position on infrastructure and their funding commitment for municipal infrastructure.

According to the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC), the top three reasons that infrastructure needs to be an election issue are:

  1. Infrastructure is a core responsibility of the government and decisive leadership is needed in 2015 and onward.
  2. Infrastructure grows the economy, strengthens communities and protects the environment. It creates jobs and prosperity.
  3. Sustained, predictable infrastructure investment makes good business sense for governments, taxpayers and all Canadians.

“Climate change has become a reality for many communities who are dealing with intense rainfall and flooding,” stated Carl Bodimeade, Chair of OCSI. “The emerging challenge (and opportunity) is how we prioritize and fund the required infrastructure improvements to make our communities more resilient.  The federal government’s role in supporting municipalities is paramount.”

What is your party’s approach and commitment to supporting the infrastructure challenges faced by municipalities in building sustainable communities that are resilient to potential impacts of climate change?

The Liberal Party plans to nearly double the federal infrastructure investment from $65 to $125 billion over 10 years.  The Liberal Party will boost investment in green infrastructure by nearly $6billion over the next four years, and almost $20billion over ten years.  Dedicated funding will be provided to invest in a broad range of projects including climate resilient infrastructure.

The NDP will invest up to an additional $1.5 billion annually in funding for municipal infrastructure which municipalities will be able to target to local priorities, including adapting to climate change.  Together, the NDP’s Better Transit Plan and improved gas tax fund will invest a total of $15.2 billion in new and existing funding over the next 4 years. The NDP will increase funding by increasing the gas tax fund, starting with the equivalent of one additional cent and ramping up to an additional $1.5 billion annually by year 4.  By 2020, this will mean municipalities are receiving $3.7 billion annually in core infrastructure funding under the NDP plan.

The Green Party commits to one percentage point of GST which is $6.4 billion/year plus maintaining the gas tax fund of $2 billion/year.

The creation of a Canadian Infrastructure Bank is suggested by both the Green Party and the Liberal Party.

The Conservative Party has not yet submitted a response to the request.

For more information and to read the complete responses from the parties, visit OCSI’s election website at ocsiorg.wordpress.com.

OCSI new release – Oct 16 – election

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