Toronto, Ontario — Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced further details regarding the new Public Transit Fund (PTF), the Government’s largest dedicated infrastructure program to promote public transit infrastructure investment in a manner that is affordable for taxpayers and efficient for consumers.
Announced in Economic Action Plan 2015, the new PTF will provide significant permanent support for large-scale public transit projects to address traffic congestion, reduce travel time for goods and people, and support economic growth in Canada’s largest cities. The PTF also frees up funds under the New Building Canada Plan and the P3 Canada Fund that might have been used up by large-scale transit projects. This will ensure that more funding under the Plan is available for infrastructure projects in municipalities across Canada, including smaller-scale transit projects in smaller communities.
In order to be eligible for support under the PTF, projects must have a minimum of $1 billion in total estimated eligible costs. Federal contributions under the fund will be up to one-third of the total eligible costs and lever the expertise, ingenuity and financing of the private sector and alternative funding mechanisms.
The Prime Minister also announced that funds will be made available within the PTF for Toronto’s SmartTrack regional express rail surface line. As currently proposed, the line will provide relief for the overcrowded Yonge-University-Spadina Subway Line and connect Toronto to major employment centres in Mississauga and Markham. The Government will contribute up to one-third of the costs for the SmartTrack public transit system proposal, approximately $2.6 billion, once a formal application has been received and approved.
The PTF builds on our Government’s unprecedented funding and support for federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal infrastructure projects across the country over the 10-year period of the New Building Canada Plan. This represents the largest and longest federal commitment to public infrastructure in Canadian history; an investment plan that is generating jobs, opportunities, economic growth and prosperity across the country.
The Prime Minister also announced that the level of support provided for new project applications under the $2.5 billion P3 Canada Fund currently administered by PPP Canada will increase from 25 to 33.3 per cent of eligible project costs.
- PPP Canada Inc., a federal Crown corporation, will administer the PTF on behalf of the Government of Canada. The mandate of PPP Canada is to improve the delivery of public infrastructure by achieving better value, timeliness and accountability to taxpayers, through public-private partnerships (P3s).
- P3s can improve the delivery of public infrastructure for Canadians, provide better value for money and reduce risk for Canadian taxpayers. Canada is widely recognized as a world leader in P3s.
- Since 2006, the Government has provided unprecedented support for public transit, committing close to $5 billion for public transport projects across the country that have been identified as priorities by municipalities, provinces and territories. In addition, $3 billion of the funding under the Gas Tax Fund has been allocated by municipalities to public transit projects since 2006.
“Our Government understands that Canada’s largest cities depend on public transit infrastructure to fight gridlock, reduce congestion for people and businesses, and support economic development. Our Government’s new Public Transit Fund will make it easier for Canadians living in big cities to commute and connect with family and friends. It will also contribute to local productivity and prosperity allowing Canadian businesses to get their products to market faster and more easily.”
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“The Public Transit Fund will focus on large transit projects, such as the Greater Toronto Area’s proposed SmartTrack line, that can provide relief for overcrowded transit corridors, connect Torontonians to each other and to major employment centres in Mississauga and Markham, and further facilitate commercial flows through the GTA.”
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper