The Budget goal is to build stronger communities, build a stronger middle class, and follow through and extend Phase 1 investments in the Budget 2016.
The 2017 Federal Budget, was presented by the Honorable Bill Morneau, the Minister of Finance, on March 22. This federal budget will have significant impacts on municipalities like Corner Brook to drive economic growth with a long-term investment plan for green infrastructure, public transit, support for affordable housing and other job-creating projects.
“This budget follows through on commitments and supports the effective collaboration between governments,” said Mayor Charles Pender. “It recognizes the central role that local governments play in growing the economy and the quality of life of Canadians.”
As an elected board member with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Mayor Pender has helped engage federal officials and cabinet ministers in unprecedented dialogue over the past 18 months on the design of their infrastructure plan. This budget responds to key municipal and FCM recommendations, which included:
Green Infrastructure Investment: Budget 2017 is proposing $21.9 billion over 11 years for green infrastructure investments including projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean water, safely manage wastewater and help communities adapt to challenges that result from climate change.
Strengthening Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure: The Budget intends to build on the 2016 commitment, with a further investment of $1.8 billion over 10 years starting in 2018–19. More than $1.3 billion will be provided to provinces and territories through integrated bilateral agreements.
Investment in Transit Plan: in addition to the Transit Infrastructure Fund 2016 Budget investments of $3.4 billion over three years, the Government will invest $20.1 billion over 11 years through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, with provincial and territorial allocations.
Significant Housing Investment: This budget commits $11.2 billion over 11 years for affordable and social housing, and to homelessness solutions.
Smart Cities: To encourage cities to adopt new and innovative approaches to city-building, the Government proposed to provide Infrastructure Canada with $300 million over 11 years to launch a Smart Cities Challenge.
Post-Secondary Student Support Program: Budget 2017 plans to increase funding to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program by $90 million over two years, beginning in 2017–18.
“This budget is about governments working together to meet local needs in ways that tackle national challenges, like growth and productivity. Council is optimistic about new partnership opportunities,” said Mayor Pender. “On behalf of our Council and municipality we are encouraged that the Federal Government is respecting local expertise, and not trying to force a one-size-fits-all solution on Canada’s diverse communities. We appreciate the willingness to work with provincial and territorial partners to establish and support outcomes that make sense for Corner Brook.”
Going Forward–Upcoming Bilateral Agreement:
- Bilateral agreements will be negotiated in the coming months, and may provide funding for:
- Public transit infrastructure, including new construction and rehabilitation.
- Infrastructure to support greenhouse gas mitigation efforts in provinces and territories, as outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
- Infrastructure that will help communities prepare for challenges that result from climate change.
- Other green infrastructure that supports the health of our environment, such as water and wastewater infrastructure.
- The unique infrastructure needs of rural and northern communities, including delivering more reliable energy networks and greater digital connectivity.
- Cultural and recreational infrastructure to build stronger communities and neighbourhoods.
Mayor, City of Corner Brook
Information Officer, City of Corner Brook