CPWA Ottawa Report

February 6, 2023

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The next edition of the Ottawa Report will be send February 13.


First Net-Zero Advisory Body Annual Report Released

Environment and Climate Change Canada announced the first Net-Zero Advisory Body annual report. The report includes five design principles for pathways to net-zero:
  1. Act early, and urgently: The most likely net-zero pathways prioritize early and deep reductions.
  2. Be bold and proactive: The most likely net-zero pathways are strategic and ambitious.
  3. Acknowledge there is more certainty than uncertainty: The most likely net-zero pathways prioritize available, at-scale solutions.
  4. Don’t get caught in the “net:” The most likely net-zero pathways prioritize emissions reductions and use removal and offsets when necessary.
  5. Beware of dead-ends: The most likely net-zero pathways avoid locking-in systems and technologies that will become emissions liabilities before 2050.

Three Major Canada Infrastructure Bank Investments Announced

Over the last few weeks, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has announced three major investments. On February 1, the CIB and the City of Calgary closed a $165 million investment toward 259 zero-emission buses. The CIB’s investment will cover the higher upfront capital costs of ZEBs compared to diesel buses, helping to accelerate the electrification of Calgary Transit’s bus fleet.

On January 26, the CIB announced an investment of $7.9 million in Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg infrastructure to accelerate residential and economic growth in the northern Ontario community. And on January 19, the CIB announced a partnership with Arrow Technology Group to bring indigenous-owned broadband infrastructure online in Alberta.  


Canada Disability Benefit Act Passes Third Reading in the House

Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit Act passed the third reading in the House of Commons with unanimous support on Thursday, February 2, 2023. It now stands referred to the Senate for further legislative review.

Upcoming Debates

During the week of February 6, 2023, the House of Commons will focus debate on:

Committee Activities

Report on Future of Hybrid Parliament Tabled

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs has tabled a report entitled “Future of Hybrid Proceedings in the House of Commons.” The report recommends “that hybrid Parliament, including the voting application, be continued and that all necessary changes to the Standing Orders be made to allow for its use, and that the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs must review these measures within the first year of the 45th Parliament.”


Departmental Updates

Order Paper Question Details Investments by the Canada Infrastructure Banks

An Order Paper question about the Canada Infrastructure Bank to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities by Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis was answered by the government on January 30, 2023. The response notes that since inception, the CIB portfolio included 41 investment commitments, 23 of which have reached financial close. This represents investment commitments worth $8.3 billion of which $6.8 billion have reached financial close.

Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund Accepting Applications

Infrastructure Canada is accepting applications for new projects through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). The deadline is July 18, 2023. This funding will support projects that include new construction of public infrastructure or the modification or reinforcement of existing public infrastructure that help communities withstand natural disasters and climate-related risks. Municipalities, local governments, provinces or territories, public sector bodies, indigenous organizations, not-for-profit, and for-profit organizations, in partnership with other eligible applicants outside the private sector, can apply for funding. Projects must have a minimum of $1 million in total eligible costs to be considered eligible.

Applications Open for Zero Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program

The Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) is accepting applications under a continuous intake process for Initial Recipient projects (delivery organizations). The Request for Proposals (RFP) focusing on public places, on-street, multi-unit residential buildings, workplaces, and vehicle fleets closed on August 11, 2022. NRCan will target having funding decisions by this month.

Public Safety to Establish Canada-wide Flood Risk Awareness Portal

A recent tender notice indicates that Public Safety Canada is seeking recommendations on public flood risk communications content and strategies to support the development of a Canada-wide Flood Risk Awareness Portal. Further details are not available at this time.

NRCan Call for Proposals for Codes Acceleration Fund

The Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced a call for proposals for the Codes Acceleration Fund. The fund will support provinces, territories, municipalities, indigenous governments, and stakeholders in adopting and enforcing the codes needed to fight climate change and improve resiliency from coast to coast.The call for proposals will remain open until March 27, 2023.

On the Horizon

Spring Budget Will Be a Key Test of Confidence in Government

Canada’s Parliament returned to session on Monday, January 30, after the holiday recess. Polling has been consistently placing the opposition Conservatives under Pierre Poilievre ahead of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. In a minority government situation, we can expect continued focus on the possibility of a snap election. This is particularly the case if the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh decides to withdraw from the supply and confidence agreement he made with Trudeau that was meant to keep this minority government going until fall 2025.
A key element to the stability of this government will be this spring’s federal budget. CPWA will be submitting recommendations to the Department of Finance’s pre-budget process. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has indicated that health care and the green energy transition will be key parts of the budget.