Liberal government to spend $10B on infrastructure to fuel pandemic economic recovery

Liberal government to spend $10B on infrastructure to fuel pandemic economic recovery

The Liberal government is spending $10 billion in infrastructure initiatives such as broadband, clean energy and agricultural projects as part of its plan to boost growth and create one million jobs after the pandemic pummelled the economy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna are announcing details of the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) plan during a news conference at 11 a.m. ET, and is carrying it live.

Trudeau said the three-year plan is expected to create 60,000 jobs.

“With smart, targeted investments, we can get people back on the job, grow the economy, while building a healthy, sustainable future for everyone,” he said.

The plan has five major initiatives: 

  • $2.5 billion for clean power to support renewable generation and storage and to transmit clean electricity between provinces, territories and regions, including northern and Indigenous communities. 
  • $2 billion to help connect about 750,000 homes and small businesses to broadband in underserved communities. 
  • $2 billion for large-scale energy efficient building retrofits.
  • $1.5 billion for agriculture irrigation projects to boost production, strengthen Canada’s food security and expand export opportunities.
  • $1.5 billion to speed up the adoption of zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure. 

The Liberal government’s throne speech promised to create more than one million jobs to rebuild from the pandemic.

The $10 billion announced today is part of the CIB’s $35-billion pot of federal investments.

McKenna said the pandemic created a time of crisis, but also a time of opportunity to rebuild with stronger, cleaner, more inclusive communities. She said the investments align with the federal vision to build clean, modern communities.

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“Canada has an opportunity to be the low-carbon economy that global investors beat a path to,” she said.

CIB chair Michael Sabia said the federal money aims to leverage additional money from private and institutional investors, stretching each public dollar to several.

“That is value for taxpayers,” he said.

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