The Provincial Government is providing small, rural and northern municipalities with stable, annual funding to build and repair critical infrastructure and help to create jobs across the province.
Premier Kathleen Wynne and Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, were in St. Thomas to announce that the new Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund will provide $100 million per year in funding for critical road, bridge, water and wastewater projects.
Half of the funding for the initiative will be allocated annually using a fair and transparent formula, which recognizes that municipalities have different infrastructure and fiscal needs. The remaining $50 million will flow through an application-based process, allowing municipalities to continue partnering with the province to invest in critical infrastructure projects that will create jobs and support growth.
The Premier also announced that Ontario municipalities can now propose infrastructure projects to be considered for support through the Small Communities Fund. Through this fund, Ontario and the federal government will each provide $272 million to support projects in municipalities with populations less than 100,000.
The province is now accepting expressions of interest for the application-based component of the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund and the Small Communities Fund, with grants expected to be awarded in early 2015.
To be eligible for the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, municipalities must have a population of less than 100,000 as of the 2011 census or be located in northern or rural Ontario.
To ease the administrative burden for small municipalities, the province worked with the federal government to closely align the Small Communities Fund with the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund.
Ontario plans to invest more than $130 billion in public infrastructure over the next 10 years. This will support more than 110,000 jobs on average each year in construction and related industries.
“Our government is fulfilling a commitment to provide a permanent infrastructure program that will continue to build up small, rural and northern communities. We listened to our municipal partners, who know what’s best for their communities. This is why providing predictable, sustainable, annual funding is a key component of this new fund,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.