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Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced a CAD$14 billion infrastructure fund that will offer provinces, cities and smaller communities access to eagerly anticipated federal money over the next 10 years.
The New Building Canada Fund, which was first announced in last year's federal budget, is part of the larger CAD$53 billion New Building Canada Plan, which also includes a Gas Tax Fund and a funding model for public-private partnerships. The government plans that the fund will be available starting this spring to take over from a previous similar fund which expires at that time.
The new infrastructure fund includes two major components:
When a project involves the for profit private sector, the maximum federal contribution under the fund will be 25 per cent, while the same amount will apply to projects that are public-private partnerships. Meanwhile, P3 projects over CAD$100 million will have to undergo a screening to ensure taxpayers get their money's worth but the additional step could take between six and 18 months.
The fund gives provinces, territories and municipalities the flexibility to decide which projects it will seek money for, but the government has put forward a list of categories eligible for cash, which include wastewater management, green energy, airports and post-secondary infrastructure that supports advanced research.