Madam Chair, thank you very much for inviting me this morning. If it's okay with you and the members of the committee, I will start with a brief statement, and then, obviously, I'd be delighted to take your questions.
Good morning to all of the committee members and thank you for inviting me to speak with you today about infrastructure and our plan for Canada.
I am joined today by deputy minister Kelly Gillis, who I want to thank on the record for her extraordinary work under accelerated circumstances. We have a lot to deliver, and I think she and every civil servant in the department have been doing an outstanding job serving Canadians, to make sure that we can deliver the infrastructure they deserve.
I'm here today to speak with you about Infrastructure Canada's interim estimates and supplementary estimates (B).
More specifically, to support the Government of Canada's priorities in investing in public infrastructure, Infrastructure Canada is seeking $1.8 billion through interim estimates and $150,000 through supplementary estimates (B).
This funding will ensure that communities across Canada have the money they need when they need it.
I would also like to provide you with an update on the progress we are making in delivering the investing in Canada plan. Since I was last before you, I have been continuing my travels across Canada to make critical investments in our communities and, obviously, to see the results. I have heard from Canadians about how their lives have improved through public infrastructure being built in their communities, thanks to federal support.
For example, I visited the town of Drumheller in Alberta, where new dikes are being built on the banks of the Red Deer River, and a flood mitigation system is being put in place to alert the 8,000 residents when the water levels in the dam are rising.
Together, these investments are helping to protect the community against the impacts of flooding for years to come, and I would say, Madam Chair, they're protecting families, businesses and communities from extreme weather events. I spent a bit of time in Drumheller, and one of the reasons I'm here today is to share with you these very real examples of what happens on the ground when we work together to make these investments.
I will give you another example.
In Rivière Rouge, a fibre optic network is being installed that will bring high-speed Internet to over 16,000 households and businesses in 17 Antoine-Labelle municipalities. For people like myself and my colleague the member for Trois-Rivières, Mr. Aubin, access to high-speed Internet in the regions makes distance work, distance medicine and distance education possible. It allows everyone to take part in today's life and tomorrow's economy.
And in Sainte-Eulalie, Quebec, a new wastewater treatment system and pumping station are being built, protecting the health of residents and preserving the waterways of the Centre-du-Québec Region.
I have seen first-hand how our investments are benefiting Canadians across the country, in every region and every community. I have had the privilege of meeting thousands of workers on sites across the country. I can tell you, dear committee members, colleagues and friends, they are the true heroes of our plans. Meeting them continues to be the highlight of my time as minister. They are dedicated, professional and passionate about what they're doing to build a future for Canadians.
Having a diverse workforce on our construction sites is also critically important, which is why I'm pleased that we have included the community employment benefits initiative in our bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories.
It is vital to the success of our country and our workforce to incorporate those groups that are underrepresented in the construction and related industries.
I would now like to talk about the progress we have made to date in delivering our Investing in Canada plan. This plan, as you all know, is investing over $180 billion through five major funding streams: $28.7 billion in public transit infrastructure; $26.9 billion in green infrastructure; $25.3 billion in social infrastructure; $10.1 billion in trade and transportation infrastructure to allow us to get goods to market; and $2 billion for rural and northern communities infrastructure. It's very important, because as Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, people talk to me about mobility when I am in cities, and about connectivity when I am in rural areas.
Thanks to the investment plan, we've been able to see progress in green infrastructure, public transit, social and recreational infrastructure, and, of course, address the needs of our rural and northern communities. The plan includes over 70 new programs and initiatives, all of which have launched. More than 33,500 infrastructure projects under those programs and initiatives have been approved to date. Nearly all are underway.
Since my last appearance at this committee in December, I am pleased to note some milestones we have achieved.
First, we have announced the first projects funded through the $2-billion disaster mitigation and adaptation fund, and planning is under way in communities across Canada. I am particularly proud of this program, because this is about making sure we invest in disaster adaptation so that we don't have to invest that much in disaster mitigation, We are making sure that communities like Drumheller and Springbank in Alberta, for example, can see a better future, and will be more resilient. We're protecting families, businesses and, obviously, a way of life. For example, we recently announced $150 million to protect more than 170,000 residents in a number of communities in the greater Toronto area who have been negatively impacted by flash floods and storms.
The Samuel De Champlain Bridge is nearly complete and will open permanently to traffic no later than June 2019. I would like to extend my thanks to the more than 1,600 workers who have worked so hard on this landmark project and to acknowledge their contribution to building our country. We issued a certificate to each and every worker who has worked on the bridge to express the thanks of this nation for their work. I can tell you, Madam Chair, thanks to the deputy minister and colleagues at the department, that we were able to deliver that just in time for Christmas. It was just a token to say, on behalf of all parliamentarians, thank you for what they are doing for the country.
We have announced the BMO Centre expansion project in Calgary, Alberta. The project is expected to create more than 1,800 jobs during construction and 500 new full-time positions once it is completed. This will allow the BMO Centre to be a tier one facility to attract worldwide conventions to Calgary. This will be in addition to Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. I think this will certainly change the nature of tourism in the city. Being able to have a tier one facility is really transformative for a city like Calgary.
We are also continuing to work with Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Significant work is underway on the design, foundation, and other construction which will create up to 2,500 jobs over the course of the project, which is one of the largest, not only in Ontario and Canada, but also in North America. Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, Canada's economy is strong and growing. Our historic investments in infrastructure are playing a key role by creating lasting economic and social benefits for Canadians in communities of all sizes.
Since we took office, 900,000 jobs have been created across Canada. The unemployment rate has been at its lowest since Statistics Canada began tracking unemployment rates more than 40 years ago.
Budget 2019 demonstrates our continued commitment to investing in infrastructure and our communities. It includes, notably, a one-time municipal top-up of $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund to address priorities in municipalities and first nation communities.
There's $60 million in 2018-19 to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to help small communities get the training they need to better manage their infrastructure assets.
There's also $300 million for a new housing supply challenge that will invite municipalities and other stakeholder groups across Canada to propose new ways to break down barriers that limit the creation of new housing.