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2017-03-23

Budget Highlights

The 2017 federal budget announced on March 22, includes a Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative that is designed to improve the quality of trade infrastructure across Canada, and will prioritize investments that address congestion and bottlenecks along corridors, transportation hubs and ports that provide access to world markets. Specific components of the Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative include the following:

 

  • A National Trade Corridors Fund, which will address urgent capacity constraints and freight bottlenecks at major ports of entry, include the Ports of Vancouver and Montreal.  The budget will provide $2 billion over 11 years to support the Fund's acitivites, with at least an additional $5 million provided through the Canada Infrastructure Bank to address trade and transportation priorities;
  • A Trade and Transportation Information System, which will involve the creation of a new Canadian Centre on Transportation Data, and an open data portal, to serve as authoritative sources of multi-modal transportation data and performance measures.  The budget will provide $50 million over 11 years to Transport Canada to launch this system;
  • Measures to enable the modernization of Canada's transportation system, which will involve a budget allocation of $76.7 million over five years to support the government's ability to evaluate, certify and safely implement new technologies.  The government will also introduce legislation that will enable it to enter into service level agreements with industry to allow for more effective cost recovery for regulatory and certification services;
  • Investments in small craft harbours, which will involve a budget allocation of $5 million (in addition to the $149 milion that was allocated in Budget 2016) to ensure a safe an accessible network of small craft harbours that are relied upon  by both recreational and commercial users;
  • The Oceans Protection Plan, which was announced last November and allocates $1.5 billion to the development of measures to enhance marine safety, support responsible shipping, and protect Canada's marine environment.

Additional details on the above can be found towards the end of Chapter 2 of the budget, entitled "Communities Built for Change."

The Federation is now studying the budget announcement in its entirety, and will provide additional details on specific plans and measures over the coming days.