CPWA Welcomes Direct Funding to Municipalities in Budget 2019

OTTAWA, ONTARIO– March 20, 2019 – The Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) welcomes the Government’s announcement of new infrastructure funding for local communities through a municipal top-up as part of Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class to Grow Canada's Economy. Tabled on Tuesday by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Budget 2019 proposes a one-time transfer of $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund to address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nation communities, effectively doubling the Government’s commitment to municipalities in 2018–19. The additional $2.2 billion increases the overall cost of the Investing in Canada Plan to approximately $190 billion.

“CPWA is pleased to see that the Government, in its 2019 budget, recognizes the funding needs of municipalities,” said CPWA President Steve Blayney. “Local governments across Canada continue to face challenges when it comes to infrastructure investment and this infusion of funds will provide a welcome boost.”
Budget 2019 also proposes to invest $60 million in 2018–19 in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Municipal Asset Management Capacity Fund to help small communities get skills training on how to inventory, grow and maintain infrastructure assets over five years.

“Support for asset management, particularly for small communities who often lack capacity to undertake these important planning activities, has been a CPWA priority for many years,” said CPWA Executive Director Scott Grayson. “We applaud the Government for continuing to recognize that investments in skills training for communities in asset management will yield long-term benefits.”

Further, Budget 2019 proposes to allocate money through the Municipal Green Fund for the following initiatives:
  • Collaboration on Community Climate Action ($350 million) will provide municipalities and non-profit community organizations with financing and grants to retrofit and improve the energy efficiency of large community buildings as well as community pilot and demonstration projects in Canadian municipalities, both large and small.
  • Community EcoEfficiency Acceleration ($300 million) will provide financing for municipal initiatives to support residential energy efficiency retrofits.

CPWA also welcomes the following funding for disaster management preparation and response included in Budget 2019:

  • $151.23 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, and $9.28 million per year ongoing, to improve emergency management in Canada, including in Indigenous communities. This investment will improve Canada’s ability to predict and respond to threats using early warning systems. In addition, this investment will help to assess the condition and resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure—including energy grids, water and food supplies and health services—in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
  • $260 million over two years, on a cash basis, starting in 2019–20, to Public Safety Canada to support provincial and territorial disaster relief and recovery efforts through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements Program.

When Canada’s public infrastructure and facilities are threatened by hazards, whether natural or manmade, public works joins other first responders in emergency management—prepared and equipped to safeguard lives and repair damaged critical infrastructure.

“The CPWA continues to prioritize dependable, predictable funding for long-term emergency management and disaster mitigation,” said Blayney. “Tools like early warning systems, as well as inter-agency coordination, are vital to the success of any emergency management operation.”

More Information:
Press Release
Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class to Grow Canada's Economy

Emily Dowsett