The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) recently announced the launch of the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII), with a target to invest at least $1 billion in Indigenous infrastructure across priority sectors.
The CIB initiative is expected to generate more investments in projects that are vital to economic growth and environmental protection with Indigenous communities across Canada. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities will have the opportunity to partner with the CIB to make innovative investments in projects to help address the infrastructure gap in Indigenous communities.
“The CIB’s Initiative is an engagement towards collaborative, respectful and beneficial partnerships with Indigenous communities. The CIB is a unique tool to address the infrastructure gap in these communities through innovative financing,” said Ehren Cory, CEO of CIB. “This is another example of the CIB taking action and focusing on investment to deliver impactful infrastructure. When Indigenous communities grow and thrive in a sustainable manner, all of Canada benefits.”
The projects enabled by CIB investments have the potential to provide more low-carbon energy supply and enhanced energy security, reduce greenhouse gases, improve broadband connectivity, more clean and accessible water, as well as create jobs and local economic development.
“We have a huge opportunity to work in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities to get important infrastructure built which benefits their communities economically, creates jobs and addresses the Indigenous infrastructure deficit,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “That’s why I set a new target for the Canada Infrastructure Bank to invest at least $1 billion in revenue-generating infrastructure projects in partnership with and that benefit Indigenous Peoples. I am very pleased that as part of this initiative, the CIB will advance smaller-scale projects and will drive progress towards that target.”
As part of the ICII, the CIB will tailor its innovative, low-interest and long-term financing to provide loans of at least $5 million for up to 80 per cent of total project capital cost. Community-based revenue-generating projects can be from any of the CIB’s priority sectors: green infrastructure, clean power, broadband, public transit, and trade and transportation.
This is a major step towards investing in infrastructure projects that benefit Indigenous communities. The ICII has been developed with input from Indigenous leaders, communities, and infrastructure organizations, to create an initiative that will support access to capital for community-based projects.
In connection with the launch of the ICII, the CIB has expanded its specialized Indigenous investment team to provide advice and develop projects with Indigenous communities, and conduct internal due diligence on all project investment opportunities.
“The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) Initiative is a major step toward closing the infrastructure gap in First Nations, while prioritizing green energy projects in the overall effort toward climate action,” said Perry Bellegarde, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations. “I support the efforts of the CIB to work directly with First Nations in meaningful and collaborative ways that will lead to much needed investments toward better infrastructure and sustainable economic growth.”
The ICII is a sign of further momentum for the CIB which is focused on executing its Growth Plan to make investments in projects in priority sectors and get more infrastructure built to grow the economy over the long-term.
Featured image from Infrastructure Canada.