All about Canada’s infrastructure fund

Learn more about the different ways to access Canada’s infrastructure funds, its details and eligibilities required of its applicants
All about Canada’s infrastructure fund

Infrastructure projects in Canada are primarily funded by Infrastructure Canada through its numerous Investing in Canada Plan programs. Other projects may also be backed by Canada Infrastructure Bank and other Canada infrastructure funds of the federal government.  

These programs can be accessed by the provincial, territorial, or municipal governments and other public and private sector entities for their infrastructure projects.  

Investing in Canada Plan (ICA) 

Through the Investing in Canada Plan (ICA), the federal government of Canada will provide investment fund for eligible projects proposed by the provincial, territorial, or municipal governments.  

Canada infrastructure funds under this plan are further divided into these programs: 

  • Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) 
  • Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) 
  • Canada Community-Building Fund (CCBF) 

Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) 

One of Canada’s infrastructure funds is the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Under the ICIP, municipal, territorial, or provincial governments may request the federal government for funding for infrastructure programs.  

These may fall under any of these investment streams: 

  • Public Transit Investment Stream: aims to build, expand, upgrade, or modernize urban and rural transit networks. This aims to provide more transport options for Canadians while reducing carbon emissions and pollution. 
  • Green Investment Stream: contributes to Canada’s goal of transitioning into a green or low-carbon economy through a shift to renewable technologies. This also involves establishing water, wastewater, and solid waste treatment infrastructure and other disaster mitigation and adaptation projects. 
  • Social Investment Stream: supports the establishment of affordable housing, early learning or childcare facilities, community infrastructure, cultural spaces (which are appropriate and for the benefit of Indigenous Peoples and Aboriginals), and recreational facilities. 
  • Trade and Transportation Investment Stream: focuses on developing freight movements within Canada and facilitating trade to or from its international markets. 
  • Rural and Northern Communities Investment Stream: seeks to create efficient and reliable energy sources, create community infrastructure, and establish improved connectivity among the rural and northern communities. 

To access these funds under the ICIP, eligible applicants may submit proposals to their respective provincial or territorial governments.  

These provincial or territorial governments will then forward the proposals to Infrastructure Canada under the appropriate investment streams.  

Eligible applicants under the ICIP include: 

  • municipal or regional governments; 
  • private sector bodies owned by the provincial, territorial, municipal, or regional governments; 
  • local Crown corporations; 
  • public or not-for-profit institutions (subject to certain conditions); 
  • band councils (according to Section 2 of the Indian Act); or 
  • First Nation, Inuit, or Métis governments or authorities. 

A portion of the total fund cost would also have to be shouldered by the applying government or institution. Certain conditions apply which may increase allocated funding from the federal government. 

For more information on the ICIP or any other Canada infrastructure fund, it would be best to speak with an infrastructure lawyer in the province or territory where you are. If you’re based in Manitoba, for example, contact a legal infrastructure expert there.  

Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) 

The DMAF is a Canada infrastructure fund which aims to provide infrastructure funds to structural and natural infrastructure projects proposed by Canadian provinces and territories. This fund seeks to increase the resilience of local communities against natural disasters, calamities, or hazards and aims to mitigate the risks brought by these disasters or hazards. 

Structural and natural infrastructure projects that may be funded under the DMAF include: 

  • construction of new public infrastructure; and 
  • modification or reinforcement of existing public infrastructure. 

Proposals may address any of the natural hazards and extreme weather that might have an impact on Canada’s socio-economic, environmental and cultural growth.  

These hazards may pertain to: 

  • avalanches 
  • droughts 
  • earthquakes 
  • floods  
  • hurricanes 
  • permafrost thaw 
  • storms 
  • tsunamis 
  • wildland fires 

Eligible applicants under the DMAF such as provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, including indigenous organizations and certain public and private sector bodies, may apply online through Infrastructure Canada’s Funding Portal.  

Proposed structural and natural infrastructure projects must have a minimum cost of C$1 million to qualify under the DMAF. 

Canada Community-Building Fund (CCBF) 

Previously called the Gas Tax Fund, the Canada Community-Building Fund (CCBF) permanently provides municipalities, through its provinces and territories, with funds for their local infrastructure priorities. One feature of CCBF is that municipalities can also pool their resources into this fund, aside from being able to borrow from the fund. 

This Canada infrastructure fund prioritizes projects that contribute to Canada’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also prioritizes projects that provide cleaner water and air to local communities in these municipalities. 

Because of the direct relationship between the provinces or territories and the municipalities supported by CCBF funding, provinces or territories are held accountable for reporting to the federal government on the funded projects. This responsibility includes assessing the benefits that were achieved by implementing these projects. 

Who owns the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB)?  

The CIB is a federal government-owned bank which is one of the sources of Canada’s infrastructure funds. Infrastructure Partnerships through public-private partnerships (or PPPs) may be forged between possible investors, the CIB, and the interested governments (municipal, territorial, or provincial) or local communities seeking infrastructure funds. 

The CIB was established through the enactment of the Canadian Infrastructure Bank Act. This Act defines the Bank’s primary functions, governance structure, and powers. Aside from providing investment funds for infrastructure projects, it also assists stakeholders through advisory, research, and data support on these projects.  

Logo of CIB 

Infrastructure Partnerships under the CIB focus on five sectors: 

  • green infrastructure 
  • clean power 
  • public transit 
  • trade and transportation 
  • broadband infrastructure 

Relevant information on CIB’s investment fund, possible infrastructure partnerships, the legislative review process it undergoes, and the application process can be found on CIB’s website

What is the Government of Canada’s green infrastructure fund?  

The Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) is a federal program that provides Indigenous, rural, and remote communities with appropriate funding for their proposed clean energy projects.  

These may include projects related to the establishment of renewable energy sources, implementation of capacity building programs for sustainable energy, and any other renewable energy initiatives from these rural Indigenous communities. 

Interested applicants of CERRC may apply online.  

First Nation representatives may also contact their respective Indigenous Services Canada regional office for more information. 

Ask your questions below or hear from the best infrastructure lawyers in Canada for information on Canada’s infrastructure funds.