Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Central Nova.
It is a pleasure to participate in the debate today on the government's infrastructure investments and the Canada infrastructure bank. We know that efficient public transit helps Canadians get to and from their jobs faster, that social infrastructure makes for great communities to live in, and that green infrastructure provides clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. Across Canada, infrastructure spending is on the rise, but so too is demand for better neighbourhoods and better communities. As Canadian communities continue to grow, the need for vital infrastructure also grows, and Canadians feel the effects of this growth every single day. Business owners struggle to get their products to customers through congested ports and border crossings. Commutes can be long, buses and trains overcrowded, and getting the kids to hockey practice takes far too long. I think we can all agree that we need more Sidney Crosbys and Connor McDavids in this country.
In budget 2016, the government made a down payment on future growth through investments of $11.9 billion for phase 1 of its infrastructure plan. These smart, strategic investments are already making a difference in communities across Canada, supporting the repair of our aging pipes and roads, building and refurbishing affordable housing, upgrading public transit, and improving indigenous communities. Building on this historic investment, the fall economic statement added an additional $81 billion in funding starting in 2017-18, targeting public transit and green and social infrastructure. This funding would also go to projects in northern and rural communities and those that help to facilitate trade. Total federal investments in infrastructure will now exceed $180 billion over 12 years, a truly historic initiative by this federal government.
This is our opportunity to finally break the gridlock, a call to action for leaders across Canada to work together to plan, to implement, and indeed to deliver transformative infrastructure renewal. With their help, long-term regional transportation plans of Canada's major cities will be funded and transit systems will be built and expanded.
Let me add to that by focusing locally. In my own home city of London, Ontario, I had the pleasure recently of announcing a number of transit projects—54, in fact. I will highlight a few here.
One is the rehabilitation of Dundas Place. Anyone in London knows what that means. That is $8 million. As well, here are new and accessible transit paths and sidewalks, for $1 million; the Kiwanis parks pathway connection, for $1.05 million; funds to construct new downtown cycle tracks, for $1.075 million; replacement of all our bus shelters, 380 in total; the purchasing of closed-circuit monitors for 213 buses; and also funds, $4 million in total, for 14 buses in 2018 and 2019.
These proven investments in infrastructure and transit will boost the economy, not just for today but for years and even decades to come. It is the means by which all countries can build a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable society.
Canada's cities continue to attract people from around the world for their diverse and energetic offerings, but the same things that make these cities desirable can also bring discord. Challenges ranging from traffic congestion that takes time away from families and friends to poor-quality air that can make it difficult to enjoy city life are just some examples. We must find solutions as a country.
To encourage cities to adopt new and and innovative approaches to city-building, this government proposes $300 million over 11 years to launch a smart cities challenge. Through a nationwide merit-based competition led by Infrastructure Canada, participants would be invited to create ambitious plans to improve the quality of life for urban residents. Participants would propose ideas that leverage better city planning and implementation of clean and digitally connected technology. These might include greener buildings, smarter roads and energy systems, and advanced digital connections for homes and businesses.
Winning cities would be selected through a nationwide merit-based competition facilitated by the government's new impact Canada fund. These challenges present opportunities to leverage 21st century innovations and technological advances to strengthen and grow our communities.
However, there is more. I want to focus now on the Canada infrastructure bank.
We know that no level of government can accomplish ambitious goals for infrastructure by itself. We need to work in partnership with other levels of government, with public and private organizations, and with investors from around the world.
It is important to attract investment that will allow more infrastructure projects to get under way, especially infrastructure projects that might not otherwise be built were it not for these important partnerships coming into being.
Canada is a country with enormous infrastructure needs and a great deal of potential to build world-class infrastructure that will enhance communities, create good jobs, and build a stronger, greener economy. Investors have told us that they want to invest in Canada, but they need specific conditions to exist. That is why the Government of Canada is establishing the new Canada infrastructure bank. Through this new bank, an arm's-length organization, we will work with our provinces and our territories to build world-class infrastructure that will enhance communities, create good jobs, and build a stronger, greener economy, which is something that I hope we all want. Certainly on this side, we want that.
The Canada infrastructure bank would provide innovative funding and financing for large, complex infrastructure projects that improve economic performance. Very simply, it is a new way of funding transformational projects in communities right across this country. The bank will be responsible for investing $35 billion—federal dollars—through loans, loan guarantees, and equity investments into large infrastructure projects that contribute to economic growth.
By establishing a new organization capable of working with the private sector where it makes sense, we will see public dollars go further and put to smarter use, leading to better projects that create the good, well-paying jobs needed to strengthen the economy over the long term. This is a long-term vision, something that we have to embrace and endorse.
Let me conclude by speaking about the importance of green infrastructure.
We know that provinces and territories are looking at ways to ensure their communities remain healthy and productive places to live. Investments in sustainable infrastructure are needed to support greenhouse gas emission reductions, enable greater climate change adaptation and resilience, and ensure that more communities can provide clean air and safe drinking water for their citizens.
To achieve this, the government is working with all levels of government and with indigenous partners to evaluate, select, and fund green infrastructure projects that would deliver the best outcome for Canadians. Projects that may receive these additional investments include, among others, interprovincial transmission lines that reduce reliance on coal-fired power generation; the development of new low-carbon, renewable power projects; the expansion of smart grids to use power more efficiently and effectively; water treatment projects on reserve; and the construction of infrastructure to help manage the risks associated with floods and wildfires.
This investment builds on those in budget 2016, which are now supporting communities right across this country as they adapt to the challenges of climate change. This includes investments that support electric vehicle and alternative transportation fuel infrastructure, initiatives to foster regional electricity co-operation, and the development of building codes and standards that integrate climate resiliency requirements. These measures support the ongoing transition to a clean growth economy.
To conclude, these investments in infrastructure that we make today will pay dividends for years to come, delivering clean, sustained, economic growth; building stronger, more inclusive communities; and creating more good, well-paying jobs for Canadians.
We have a plan that will bring hope not only to Canadians, but I hope also to the opposition, who I think all agree that economic growth in this country is of vital significance. It is about how we achieve it, and I am sure we disagree on that—I know we disagree on that—but this is a plan that I truly believe in. It is a plan that we consulted on right across this country.
One of the best ways we believe that we can bring confidence back to the middle class is through such plans. We know that investing in our communities means everyone can contribute to advancing our economic, social, and environmental well-being.