Investments in Critical InfrastructureInvestments in Critical Infrastructure, Investments in Critical Infrastructure


Scenes from this video were filmed prior to COVID-19 public health measures.

Securing investments in critical infrastructure

Local governments across Canada build and maintain 60 percent of core public infrastructure, but only receive 10 cents of every tax dollar paid. To ensure Metro Vancouver’s major infrastructure continues to serve the needs of the region, it is vital the federal government provide sustainable funding for major infrastructure projects.

More about the Issue

Metro Vancouver’s National Infrastructure Assessment Submission 2021




If elected, will your party provide predictable, equitable cost-sharing on critical infrastructure projects to meet the needs of a growing population in Metro Vancouver?


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    From public transit to bridges and ports, to clean water, waste management, parks and housing, infrastructure projects connect our communities, provide the foundations for a strong and resilient economy, and build the future of our country.

    As we plan for the future, we must take into consideration the need for expanded core utility services and regional services to respond to new growth. Our country and region are dependent on healthy, functioning ecosystems and require actions to reduce pollutants, including greenhouse gases, to prevent waste and to conserve our natural ecosystems. We must also maintain and replace critical regional infrastructure to meet current and future service needs and to be resilient to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, including impacts from severe weather events and flooding, wildfires, power failures and seismic events.

    Federal funding programs do exist and are helping local governments build, maintain and upgrade critical infrastructure. However, these programs often have inconsistent criteria and timelines, which can change dramatically whenever there is a change in government. This uncertainty undermines long-term planning and often results in delays and cost increases to essential projects. Investments in community infrastructure will create a more equitable, inclusive and prosperous Canada.


    Response not yet received.


    The infrastructure we build today will last decades, to 2050 and beyond. Every project we build—whether a water treatment facility, public transit project, or community rec centre—has to reduce pollution and be built to be resilient to the impact of climate change such as flooding, fires, coastal erosion, and extreme heat.

    In the last mandate, our Liberal government doubled the Canada Community-Building Fund (aka the Gas-Tax Fund) to a total of $4.4 billion to support municipalities and First Nations communities directly with infrastructure priorities. Earlier this year, we established a permanent public transit fund of $3 billion per year, beginning in 2026-27, so that municipalities and transit authorities can count on the type of permanent and stable source of funding essential to careful and long-term project planning and delivery.

    A re-elected Liberal government will continue to work with all levels of government and move forward on building climate-ready infrastructure to serve growing urban centres, including residents of Metro Vancouver. One of the tools we will create is open-access climate toolkits to help infrastructure owners and investors develop projects that ensure Canada is on the path to a net-zero emissions and resilient future - building on our existing climate lens requirement for federally funded infrastructure projects.


    New Democrats commit to putting in place a permanent, direct, allocation-based funding mechanism for modern public transit across Canada for the long run. To start off, we will permanently double the Canada Community-Building Fund to help regions like Metro Vancouver meet its transit priorities.

    We will also work with municipalities and provinces to scale up low carbon transit projects like zero-emissions buses and electric trains with the goal of electrifying transit and other municipal fleets by 2030.


    Yes. The Green Party of Canada’s Platform 21 is built on three key pillars (Green Future, Life with Dignity, and Just Society) that mirror the foundation of Metro Vancouver’s need for critical infrastructure projects to meet the needs of its growing population.

    Specific commitments we have made regarding predictable, equitable cost-sharing include:

    • Institutionalizing federal transfers to municipalities through the creation of a Municipal Fund, renaming the Gas Tax funds, which were delinked from gas revenue years ago, and retaining the same eligibility as the Gas Tax funds;
    • Ensuring a permanent doubling of current funding to municipalities;
    • Answering the call to create a permanent, dedicated federal public transit fund of $3.4 billion annually starting in 2026-2027, once the existing transit program expires;
    • Committing to a multi-year solution to transit operating shortfalls in order to protect and secure shared investments in building out Canada’s transit networks for decades to come.


If elected, will your party commit to cost-sharing of a third each ($250 million) between all orders of government for Phase 1 ($750 million) of Metro Vancouver’s Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant?


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    Metro Vancouver is advancing one of Canada’s most dynamic and transformative urban sustainability programs – the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. This state-of-the-art wastewater treatment and resource recovery facility will respond to a federally regulated requirement for providing enhanced treatment technology. This innovative project will protect the health and well-being of people, wildlife and ecosystems while enhancing seismic and climate resiliency. The first phase of the program begins in 2021, with a budget of $750 million over the next five years.

    Metro Vancouver is engaging 14 First Nations on the new plant, working closely with the Musqueam Indian Band due to the proximity of the site to their primary reserve lands – directly across the Fraser River – and their strong connections to Iona Island.

    It is critical that the federal government support local governments in reaching regulatory compliance in order to maintain affordability at the household level and to ensure this critical project moves forward without delay.


    Response not yet received.


    Water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure is essential to keeping our waterways clean and our communities healthy and livable. Our Liberal government previously allocated over $225 million to the province of British Columbia through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) so BC families can count on having clean and reliable drinking water and wastewater services. This included providing nearly $6 million to the Vancouver South Sewer Separation Project. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to work with municipalities in Metro Vancouver to ensure communities have the wastewater treatment infrastructure they need to be healthy and liveable.


    New Democrats also recognize that the work to re-build and expand the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant has been delayed for years, which has only increased the cost of the project. If elected, New Democrats commit to helping to ensure that there are federal supports to help the region meet the minimum national standards in place for sewage treatment plants. We will work with Metro Vancouver and the province to identify options for managing construction challenges and escalating project costs.


    Committing to cost-sharing in Phase 1 of Metro Vancouver’s Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP) is something that lines up with the Green Party of Canada’s commitment to Green Infrastructure, specifically supporting agencies and institutions working to create innovative, efficient and cost-effective programs for green retrofits. As noted above, Platform 21 specifies examples of how funding to municipalities can be expanded. A Green government further supports the use of city charters to give greater autonomy to cities, recognizing that such autonomy is critical for the development and advancement of ideas such as the Iona Island WTP. Cities deserve more than the 10% of tax revenue that is collected within their boundaries by all 3 levels of government. A Green government will both support negotiations between cities that are seeking charter status and their provincial governments. Once completed, we will bring to Parliament a “single-province” constitutional amendment that codifies the increase in funding and the Gindependence of those cities.