Canada: Under Construction: Infrastructure Plans And Promises Of The New Canadian Government

During the longest election campaign in Canadian history, Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada (Liberals) made significant promises for increased federal infrastructure spending over the next 10 years. Now that the votes have been counted and a Liberal majority will control the House of Commons, we wanted to highlight what some of those promises were and what they might mean for Canada's infrastructure and construction industries.


Relative to spending commitments in the existing federal budget, the amounts promised by the Liberals for additional infrastructure are fairly significant. Although existing infrastructure commitments have been reported differently amongst the parties, the Liberals have stated that they will nearly double the federal infrastructure budget from C$65 billion to C$125 billion over the next decade. This increase includes plans to immediately double federal infrastructure spending to over C$10 billion per fiscal year during their first two years in office. New funding would be split evenly among three categories of infrastructure: public transit, social and green (each as described below). Each of these infrastructure categories is to receive approximately C$1.7 billion per fiscal year in new funding for the first two years, and C$1.2 billion in new funding for the following two fiscal years. Increased infrastructure spending and other new government spending would be paid for using deficits of up to C$10 billion per fiscal year during the first two years.


With the promise of increased federal infrastructure dollars available, stakeholders in the infrastructure and construction industries will want to know exactly where and how such funds are to be spent. Over the next four years, the Liberals have promised to dedicate nearly C$6 billion in additional infrastructure spending on public transit, a further C$6 billion on social infrastructure and another C$6 billion on green projects. If campaign promises are met (and the Liberals maintain their position in government), then each category of infrastructure is set to receive almost C$20 billion in additional federal dollars over the next decade (i.e. above existing budget commitments).

Although few details have been provided with respect to the specific transportation infrastructure projects set to receive increased federal funding, the Liberals have stated that they intend to "maximize the number of public transit projects built in Canada", suggesting that the bulk of such additional funds may be spread out among a larger number of potentially smaller or mid-size projects. Promises to fund the building or extension of light rail transit in British Columbia, however, suggest that at least a few larger scale projects may be included in the mix. In addition, transportation infrastructure projects that support exporting industries may see funding through the existing New Building Canada Fund, which is set to be re-focussed on funding roads, transportation corridors, bridges, ports and border gateways. It is unclear whether the Liberals will be making any changes to the Public Transit Fund, announced as part of the 2015 federal budget, which had earmarked C$750 million per fiscal year in support of large transit projects, increasing to C$1 billion per year after 2018.

Social infrastructure projects slated to receive federal funding include new or re-furbished affordable housing units, seniors' facilities, early learning and childcare facilities, and cultural or recreational infrastructure.

The third category of infrastructure spending articulated in the Liberal platform involves green infrastructure projects, which appear to relate to renewable energy and other environmentally friendly initiatives. Such projects may include water and wastewater facilities, "climate resilient infrastructure", clean energy, improved storm water systems, flood prevention dams and projects to remediate contaminated sites to facilitate new construction.


The role of provinces, territories and municipalities in administering the increased federal infrastructure dollars remains unclear. Although specifics have not yet been articulated, the Liberal platform includes promises to provide funding in a manner that is "in full respect of provincial jurisdiction," with plans to develop bilateral agreements with provinces and territories regarding long-term federal infrastructure funding. In addition, the Liberals have stated that any federal funds earmarked for infrastructure spending that have not been committed by the end of any fiscal year will be automatically transferred to municipalities, raising the possibility that municipalities may also have greater direct control over how such funds are spent.


In his November 2014 speech before the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, now Prime Minister-designate Trudeau acknowledged that private capital will be important in complementing federal infrastructure investments. He also stated that innovative financing models may be needed, and that the federal government should look to British Columbia and Ontario (and specifically Infrastructure Ontario) for inspiration on ways to move forward. Although the Liberal platform made no express reference to public-private partnerships, or the role of PPP Canada in new infrastructure spending, it appears likely that the public-private partnership model will continue to play an important role.

The Liberals have also promised to create a new entity, the Canada Infrastructure Bank, to specifically provide financing for infrastructure projects. The Canada Instructure Bank's mandate would include providing loan guarantees and small capital contributions to assist provinces or municipal governments that lack sufficient capital to complete their infrastructure projects. In addition, the Liberal platform suggests that the Canada Infrastructure Bank may play a role in arranging financing, including by bundling small projects into larger investment offerings, reducing financing costs (possibly by taking on financing risk) and offering loan guarantees. The Canada Infrastructure Bank is also slated to issue "green bonds" (an alternative to the regular bonds currently issued by the federal government) that will allow investors to target their investments towards green infrastructure projects.


With the Liberal platform promising C$125 billion in federal infrastructure spending over the next decade, those in the infrastructure and construction industries are poised to participate in the development of new infrastructure projects across the country. However, the specifics of where and how these funds will be used, and the role of new federal agencies such as the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, remain to be seen. With many of the details yet to come, stakeholders in the infrastructure and construction industries may simply have to wait for further announcements and plans to emerge as Prime Minister-designate Trudeau builds his cabinet and develops more comprehensive plans.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
26 Oct 2018, Other, Vancouver, Canada

Cybersecurity, including data privacy and security obligations, has become a critical chapter in every company’s risk management playbook.

30 Oct 2018, Other, Toronto, Canada

Please join us for discussions on recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits as well as employment law issues.

12 Nov 2018, Other, Toronto, Canada

Stories aren’t falsehoods. Stories are the root of all effective human communications: they motivate, animate and clarify. If you aren’t telling stories, you probably aren’t getting your point across.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions