Today the Government of Canada announced the allocation of $2.2 billion under the Gas Tax Fund. The payment is expected to help accelerate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while respecting public health guidelines.

In his briefing from Rideau Cottage, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the payment will be delivered in June, as the start of a new month marks the beginning of more regional re-openings. Trudeau said it is “crucial,” that cities be able to have the resources they need to continue to respond to the crisis and to evolve that response as communities pivot from crisis-mode to adapting with changing public safety issues.

“This is strong support to keep Canadians safe and our communities strong. And it’s support that will give businesses the confidence to reopen, getting hardworking Canadians back on the job,” said Trudeau.

The funding will be made in a single payment this month — rather than being spread across two annual payments as typically happens — to help municipalities rebound from the pandemic as quickly as possible.

“As we continue to face the greatest public health and economic crisis of our time, immediate investments in infrastructure will play a vital role in addressing the needs of municipalities and First Nations communities, reviving local economies, and improving the lives of Canadians,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “The Government of Canada is taking quick action to support communities across Canada by accelerating this year’s payment through the federal Gas Tax Fund. This will put $2.2 billion in the hands of communities now to fund local infrastructure projects like public transit, high-speed broadband, and recreation centres, and get Canadians to work.”

The federal Gas Tax Fund delivers over $2 billion every year to 3,600 communities across the country. In recent years, the funding has supported approximately 4,000 projects each year. Communities select how best to direct the funds with the flexibility to make strategic investments across the following project categories:

  • public transit
  • wastewater infrastructure
  • drinking water
  • solid waste management
  • community energy systems
  • local roads and bridges
  • capacity building
  • highways
  • local and regional airports
  • short-line rail
  • short-sea shipping
  • disaster mitigation
  • broadband and connectivity
  • brownfield redevelopment
  • culture
  • tourism
  • sport
  • recreation

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna has sent letters to all provincial and territorial counterparts about how the accelerated process will work.

For further information on gas tax funding, click here.

Featured image by Erik Eastman: aerial view of Toronto, Ontario.

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