OTTAWA — Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi has announced the federal government has agreed to increase the maximum federal contribution for eligible infrastructure projects in small communities from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.
The move is a boost to over 3,000 communities with fewer than 5,000 residents, said a Feb. 16 media statement. Those communities will become eligible to receive a higher proportion of federal funding for projects submitted under the rural and northern infrastructure stream.
In addition, Indigenous communities will become eligible for a federal cost share of up to 75 per cent, the statement indicated, and all communities in the three territories will remain eligible for a federal cost share of up to 75 per cent. Eligible projects include builds that support food security, local roads, renewable energy and improved broadband connectivity.
The funding will be made available through new bilateral agreements that are currently under negotiation between Infrastructure Canada and each of the provinces and territories as part of an Investing in Canada plan. The agreements are expected to be signed by spring 2018, the statement said.
“By increasing the federal cost-share for smaller communities, we will support the unique and wide-ranging infrastructure priorities of small, rural and remote communities,” said Sohi in the statement.