Good morning. I'm Alain Desruisseaux, acting assistant deputy minister, policy, Infrastructure Canada. I'm here with Laura Di Paolo, who is the director general responsible for program operations and integration.
Thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. I would like to commend the committee for its important work in reviewing this motion.
Access to clean water is key to the overall success of our communities and for the health and safety of future generations of Canadians.
Modern and effective water and waste-water infrastructure provides clean, safe water for our children to drink and ensures that our communities remain healthy and strong.
Canada's water is a precious resource that deserves protection and careful stewardship.
That is why, under most of Infrastructure Canada's current programs, drinking water infrastructure—including replacing or upgrading publicly-owned drinking water transmission pipes—has been an eligible category of investment.
That is also why the Government of Canada introduced a $2-billion clean water and waste-water fund in budget 2016.
This funding is focused on the repair and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure assets and is designed to support municipalities, provinces, and territories in their efforts to modernize and extend the life of their water and waste-water systems.
To advance Canada's efforts to build a clean economy, budget 2017 laid out a plan to invest $21.9 billion in green infrastructure. Of that amount, $9.2 billion will be provided to provinces and territories to support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean water, and safely manage waste water, among other projects.
The government will also provide $4 billion from the green and social funding streams for infrastructure in indigenous communities, to build and improve housing, water treatment systems, health facilities and other community infrastructure.
As you know, the vast majority of core public infrastructure in Canada is owned by the provinces, territories, and municipalities.
Each order of government, including the provinces, territories, and municipalities, has an important role to play with respect to the protection of water in Canada.
Local decision-makers who know what's best for their communities are responsible for identifying projects to the provinces and territories which in turn prioritize and submit projects to Infrastructure Canada.
As I mentioned, the department has several funding streams through which projects for water and waste-water public infrastructure can receive support, and that includes the federal gas tax fund and the new building Canada fund.
Since 2002, Infrastructure Canada has supported more than 6,000 drinking water projects across the country through the federal gas tax fund and other contribution programs. Our investments in these projects total more than $3.5 billion.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting provincial, territorial, and municipal priorities, including investing in water and wastewater projects that will contribute to the health and safety of Canadians.
Through the government's investing in Canada plan, more than $180 billion in federal funding will be provided to important public infrastructure projects, including water and wastewater projects.
Through Infrastructure Canada's funding programs, the department is helping to build strong, sustainable, and inclusive cities and communities, where Canadians want to live.
Thanks for inviting me to speak with you today about the important work Infrastructure Canada is doing on behalf of Canadians.
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.