Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

November 14, 2013 12:00 ET

Canada's Gas Tax Fund Helping Ontario Communities

Second installment of annual GTF transfer available for municipal infrastructure

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 14, 2013) - The Honourable James Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Regional Minister for the Greater Toronto Area and Central Ontario, the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Minister for Eastern and Northern Ontario, and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Regional Minister for Southwestern Ontario, announced today that the Government of Canada is making available the second installment of its annual $2-billion federal Gas Tax Fund allocation for municipal infrastructure, bringing Ontario's total allocation this year to close to $746.8 million.

Peter Braid, Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo was joined by Ken Seiling, Regional Chair of Waterloo, to make the announcement at the completion event for the Victoria Street Bridge.

"Investments through the federal Gas Tax Fund are helping Ontario's communities address their local infrastructure priorities," said Minister Flaherty. "Our Government is proud to support infrastructure projects that create jobs, promote productivity and support economic growth."

"Across Canada, federal Gas Tax funds have been invested to improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, public transit, community energy systems, solid waste management and local roads," said Minister Baird. "Our Government's infrastructure investments through the Gas Tax Fund will benefit municipalities across Ontario for years to come."

"Reliable, up-front funding provides greater certainty for municipalities to plan and carry out projects," said Minister Finley. "Best of all, it has been helping our communities build and revitalize the public infrastructure that they need to ensure that they remain among the best places to live in the world."

Canada's Gas Tax Fund provides predictable, long-term funding for Canadian municipalities to help them build and revitalize their local infrastructure while creating jobs and long-term prosperity. Funding is provided up front, twice a year and the Government of Ontario, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the City of Toronto administer the program across the province. Projects are chosen locally and prioritized according to the infrastructure needs of each community.

Municipalities can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility. To date, close to $4.7 billion has been made available to Ontario under the current Gas Tax Fund.

The Gas Tax Fund has funded numerous initiatives across Ontario that support water and wastewater infrastructure, local roads, public transit, solid waste, community energy systems, active transportation and capacity building.

"Municipalities in Ontario rely on Canada's Gas Tax Fund for stable, predictable funds to invest in priority projects," said Russ Powers, AMO President. "Thanks to our unique federal-municipal partnership, the Fund is helping to make our communities safer, more efficient and prosperous."

The Government of Canada has extended, doubled, indexed and made permanent the Gas Tax Fund. These improvements will see Canada's Gas Tax Fund grow from its current $2 billion per year while providing provinces and municipalities with predictable funding to deliver on local infrastructure priorities.

To read more about the Gas Tax Fund in Ontario, please see the attached backgrounder and visit: www.infrastructure.gc.ca/pub/infra/gtf-fte/gtf-fte-2013-eng.html.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or follow us on Twitter at @INFC_eng.

For further information about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

THE GAS TAX FUND IN ONTARIO

The federal Gas Tax Fund makes capital investments in important community infrastructure. Eligible investments currently include water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure, public transit, community energy systems, local roads and bridges, and capacity building. It provides predictable, stable funding, allowing municipalities to choose and plan the infrastructure priorities in their community.

Through the Gas Tax Fund, municipalities across Ontario have benefited from close to $4.7 billion in predictable and flexible funding for local priorities since the program began. The Government of Ontario, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the City of Toronto administer the program across the province.

Results for Ontario

The Gas Tax Fund is providing Ontarians with stable funding that will have a tangible impact on their quality of life and the long-term sustainability of their communities. The Gas Tax Fund has provided funding towards various projects, including:

  • Constructing the Audley Recreation Centre in Ajax. A new recreational, social and cultural facility gives families, residents and visitors access to high-quality sports and recreation opportunities to stay fit and healthy, while having fun.
  • Building a new Organic Waste Processing Facility in Guelph, which provides a local, long-term solution to managing organic waste that will endure for many generations. As a result, the City is saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing a viable soil revitalization product.
  • Installing 1,200 solar panels on the roof of the Brockville Memorial Centre, reducing the centre's operating costs and carbon footprint. It is one of the largest municipally-operated rooftop solar generation systems in Canada.

How the Gas Tax Fund Works

Canada's Gas Tax Fund has provided $13 billion to Canadian communities to date. The funding allocation is based on population for most jurisdictions. In recognition of their population size, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut receive amounts equal to 0.75 percent of the total annual national allocation, allowing them to also make meaningful investments in infrastructure. Funding is provided up front, twice a year to provincial and territorial governments or to the municipal associations which deliver this funding within a province, as well as to the City of Toronto. Projects are chosen locally and prioritized according to the infrastructure needs of each community. Municipalities can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility.

On April 1, 2009, Gas Tax Fund payments doubled to $2 billion annually. In 2011, legislation was passed to make funding under the Gas Tax Fund permanent at $2 billion per year.

As announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, the eligible categories for the Gas Tax Fund will be expanded and the Fund will be indexed at 2 per cent a year in $100-million increments, starting in 2014, allowing municipalities even more flexibility to focus on their infrastructure priorities. The expanded categories include:

  • projects supporting culture, tourism, sport and recreation;
  • disaster mitigation;
  • broadband communication systems;
  • highways;
  • short-line rail;
  • short-sea shipping;
  • brownfield redevelopment;
  • and local and regional airports.

Over the 10-year life of the New Building Canada Plan from 2014 to 2024, the Gas Tax Fund will provide close to $22 billion in funding for municipalities.

The Government of Canada is working with its provincial and territorial partners to ensure a seamless transition to the new funding.

Contact Information

  • Marie-Josee Paquette, Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Infrastructure,
    Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs,
    and Minister of the Economic Development Agency
    of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
    613-943-1848

    Brian Lambie
    Association of Municipalities of Ontario
    Media Contact
    Lambie@redbrick.ca
    416-729-5425

    Infrastructure Canada
    613-960-9251
    Toll free: 1-877-250-7154