Sohi Sets Climate Test for Federal Infrastructure Funds
The federal government is adding conditions, including a focus on greenhouse gas reductions, to the $33 billion over 11 years that it plans to roll out to provinces through its signature infrastructure investment plan.
Projects will only be eligible for federal dollars if they demonstrate environmental benefits, particularly climate benefits, and if proponents show they will contribute to economic growth, The Canadian Press reports. The program will be limited to new projects, not retrofits, and provinces will have demonstrate that the federal funds don’t just substitute for their own investments.
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“We want the new programs announced in Budget 2017 to focus on outcomes that will have a positive, real impact on Canadians for generations to come,” Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi told provincial governments in a series of letters delivered yesterday. Under funding agreements that Sohi wants in place by next March, Ottawa will cover up to 40% of the cost of eligible municipal projects, with provinces expected to pick up another 33%. For territories, Ottawa will fund 75% of project costs.