Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the opportunity I have been given to talk about some of the statements in today's motion.
I think Canadians deserve to know the facts, and they are not going to find them in this motion. In particular, I will take issue with the hon. member's claim that private corporations will be the largest beneficiaries of the Canada infrastructure bank, because reality is that Canadians will benefit the most.
The investments we make in infrastructure today will pay dividends for years to come. They will build stronger, more inclusive communities; they will deliver clean, sustained economic growth; and they will create jobs for middle-class Canadians and for those working hard to join it. That is why our government, as part of our bold plan to put Canadians first and grow the economy, is investing more than $180 billion in infrastructure over 12 years, which is a historic amount.
This amount includes $28 billion for public transit, which is sure to appeal to the people of Châteauguay—Lacolle. We live on the south shore, a bridge away from Montreal, and we are strong supporters of public transit, not only to improve traffic conditions, but also to help the environment and mitigate the impact of climate change.
It also includes $10 billion for trade corridors. Châteauguay—Lacolle is home to one of the country's busiest border crossings with the United States. It is of the utmost importance that that corridor stay open to all and that it promote efficient communications between our businesses, our fruit and vegetable industries and their American clients.
It also includes $9 billion for bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories on green infrastructure. These are essential, as they promote healthy communities and environmental conservation, which is in the interest of our businesses and our families alike.
What is more, in the creation of the Canada infrastructure bank, we are introducing innovation into these very communities that are built, so that Canadians get a greater return on their investment. I repeat that. It is Canadians who are getting the return on their investment.
In short, the Canada infrastructure bank is an arm's-length organization that will work with provincial, territorial, municipal, indigenous, and private sector investment partners to transform the way infrastructure is planned, funded, and delivered in Canada. It is important to put the emphasis on the fact that it is all these partners that are part of the economic ecosystem that is important to developing and to building good infrastructure.
The Canada infrastructure bank will be responsible for investing at least $35 billion in revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are in the public interest, and attracting private sector capital to those projects so that more infrastructure can be built across Canada, not just what we have now that is available with public funding, but more infrastructure that will benefit Canadians.
As a result, more projects will be built, more jobs will be created, and more sustainable economic activity and growth will be unlocked. That is the leverage effect that we are looking for.
Our government has already introduced legislation in the House establishing the Canada infrastructure bank with the goal of having the bank operational in late 2017. Yes, it will be this year. We need this bank now. We need it yesterday, in fact.
Once up and running, the Canada infrastructure bank will attract new investment to infrastructure by using innovative approaches to how infrastructure deals are structured and paid for. It is all about the financing. We want to increase the number and the volume of financing instruments that are available for the huge amount of deferred maintenance and infrastructure that we do not have, that we are missing today in Canada.
It will bring expertise and its own funding to the table, as a partner with other governments and institutional investors; it will build a pipeline of investment-grade projects that Canadians need; and it will work with its partners to provide better data on the state of infrastructure in Canada.
That is very key because, as someone who has worked in many areas of financing and in public institutions, I know it is important to be proactive when we are dealing with issues of infrastructure and the decaying of facilities that we need to have a healthy and innovative economy.
Most of the government's $180 billion infrastructure plan would continue to be delivered through traditional infrastructure funding models. Therefore, we are recognizing that, yes, those traditional models work, but we just need to have that additional bang for our buck. The bank would offer a new innovative and effective tool and other financial instruments that provincial, territorial, municipal, and indigenous partners could choose to use and to build more public infrastructure projects.
The advantages of this option are clear. By bringing in additional funding via partnerships with the private sector, governments can reduce—that is the key word—their upfront capital contribution as well as those funds that would normally be dedicated to long-term operating costs. These long-term costs are a major component for projects, including public transit, where municipalities now bear the majority of the operating costs. This sharing of capital and operating costs with the private sector can be of particular benefit to provinces and municipalities that may face borrowing constraints.
The Canada infrastructure bank would also leverage and increase investment in infrastructure. To attract private and institutional capital, the bank would be focused not on all projects but on the kinds of revenue-generating projects that can demonstrate sufficient demand to cover a significant portion of capital and life-cycle operating costs through prices paid by users. This approach would provide a number of benefits, particularly the efficient allocation of capital. Capital does not know ideology. When we look at our resources, we must use them in the most efficient way possible. The use of pricing will help optimize the scale of infrastructure projects, keeping total costs in line with the need of a given project. Infrastructure pricing, applied broadly, also has the potential to ease traffic congestion, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the consumption of vital resources by supporting the efficient use of infrastructure assets.
I would add that the bank would only make investments in infrastructure projects that generate revenue and are in the public interest. A key consideration for the bank would be whether the project attracts private sector capital that would not have otherwise been invested in public infrastructure. The bank's investments would be made strategically with a focus on large, transformative projects. These are not for small, municipal projects. These are for large, transformative projects such as regional transit plans, transportation networks, and electricity grid interconnections.
With all of these positive attributes, the Canada infrastructure bank would allow us to more effectively invest in infrastructure, and that is what it is all about: looking at our resources, how can we best invest? Doing so would strengthen and grow the middle class and make Canada an even better place to call home. I cannot think of a better reason for our hon. colleagues not only to reject today's motion but to lend their support to the timely passage of our government's budget implementation act, which would help make the bank a reality for the benefit of Canadians.