The Government of Canada is taking decisive action to support communities and stabilize the economy across Canada, while first and foremost ensuring that the health and safety of all Canadians are protected during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna announced that Ontario has received more than $816 million through the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) for the 2020-21 fiscal year to fund its most pressing infrastructure needs.
The GTF provides communities with stable and flexible funding for their infrastructure priorities across a wide range of categories. For example, the City of Mississauga built a new stormwater management facility beneath Eastgate Park to protect homes, businesses and other property from flood damage. In St. Marys, replacing the windows on the Town Hall helped restore this heritage building which is a tourist attraction and centrepiece of the community. In North Perth, the new Steve Kerr Memorial Complex gives residents a place to exercise and take part in local events. In Toronto, the GTF enabled the Toronto Transit Commission to leverage investments towards projects such as replacing light rail vehicles, and upgrading signal systems and facilities. The GTF allows for planned investments that increase the reliability of TTC service and keep Toronto moving.
By enabling communities to plan for their current and future needs, and build or improve the infrastructure that will help them thrive through any circumstance, the GTF is a critical tool that will help ensure Ontario remains among the best places in the world to live for generations to come.
The Government of Canada will be announcing new measures in the coming weeks and months to help Canadian communities get back on their feet and make them even more resilient in the future.
“Our Government is making immediate investments in infrastructure that will play a vital role in helping municipalities and First Nations communities revive their economies, and will improve the lives of Canadians. As a first step, we are accelerating this year’s payment through the federal Gas Tax Fund. In partnership with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, this will put more than $800 million in the hands of over 600 communities and local roads boards to improve local infrastructure such as drinking water systems, public transit, high-speed broadband, and highways.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Accelerating the release of Gas Tax funding is a good first step in supporting municipalities that are dealing with unprecedented and immediate challenges to their operating funding due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But more needs to be done, as Prime Minister Trudeau has affirmed . Ontario stands ready to work with the federal government to ensure that our municipalities are well positioned to play their critical role in Canada’s economic recovery.”
The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ontario
“Year after year, the federal Gas Tax Fund provides stable and predictable funding for communities. Municipalities count on it and budget for it. Getting this year’s allocation out the door faster than anticipated makes sense as we manage the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Jamie McGarvey, President, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)
“I want to thank the federal government for expediting this year’s allocation of the Gas Tax Fund. Our City has been relying on this funding to help with building key infrastructure projects and more importantly to help alleviate the financial impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our city. This funding is a positive step forward as we look at finding ways to address the ongoing challenges our city has been facing since the start of the pandemic. Funding for cities like Toronto will help us recover from this pandemic and allow us to continue to focus on key projects to help build our growing city.”
His Worship, John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
The federal Gas Tax Fund is a long-term indexed source of funding for over 3,600 communities across the country. In recent years it has supported thousands of projects annually.
The federal Gas Tax Fund has 18 project eligibility categories, including capacity building, sport infrastructure and roads. Communities can also use the funds immediately for priority projects, bank them for later use, pool the dollars with other communities for shared infrastructure projects, or use them to finance major infrastructure expenditures.