Government of Canada announces funding opportunities for infrastructure projects to create jobs and diversify trade

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Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that the Government of Canada will begin a call for proposals under the National Trade Corridors Fund on January 15, 2019. The government will begin accepting expressions of interest starting on that date.

The quality of transportation infrastructure and the efficiency of trade corridors are key to the success of Canadian businesses in the global marketplace.

In this call, Transport Canada will evaluate projects on specific trade-related criteria that:

Improve the fluidity and/or performance of the transportation system to contribute to an increase in the value and/or volume of goods exported from Canada to overseas markets.
Increase existing, or generate new, overseas trade flows as a result of the investment.
In addition to the above criteria, projects will be assessed for the extent to which they will add capacity or address bottlenecks near major ports, airports, or along road and rail corridors in Canada that help generate or increase overseas trade.

With the exception of projects submitted by federal agencies or Crown corporations, all ‎eligible projects must demonstrate that they have secured funding for those costs not funded by the Government of Canada.

By supporting projects under the National Trade Corridors Fund, the government is committed to significantly bolstering export opportunities for Canadian businesses, and diversifying Canada’s overseas trade.

As part of the Fall Economic Statement, the Government proposed a new Export Diversification Strategy to help businesses succeed, and increase Canada’s overseas exports by 50 per cent by 2025.

“Our government is investing in Canada’s economy by improving our trade and transportation corridors to support trade diversification. By creating new opportunities for Canadian investors, exporters and, especially, our small and medium-sized businesses, the Government of Canada is helping them access new customers and clients, and create new well-paying jobs that flow from these opportunities.” stated The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport in a media release.

The strategy will focus on:

  • Investing in infrastructure to support trade;
  • Providing Canadian businesses with resources to reach overseas markets; and
    Enhancing trade services for Canadian exporters.
  • Canada is, and always has been, a trading nation. Trade drives economic growth, creates good, well-paying jobs for the middle class, and opens up opportunities for Canadian businesses to grow and compete.

These measures will create jobs, support Canadian businesses, and make Canada the most globally connected economy in the world.

The evaluation criteria for the expression of interest phase are available on Transport Canada’s website.

Detailed information on the process and how to apply, along with the applicant guide, will be added to the website on January 15, 2019.

Transportation is an important element of Canada’s trade with other countries. In 2017, total international merchandise trade amounted to $1.1 trillion. While the United States continued to be Canada’s top trade partner, with $703 billion in trade ($415 billion exported, $288 billion imported), accounting for 63.5 per cent of total Canadian trade in 2017, trade with Asia (excluding the Middle East) has grown by 9.5 percent since 2015 to $183.7 billion in 2017, and trade with Europe has grown by 8.7% since 2015 to $107.9 billion in 2017.

The Government of Canada places a strong emphasis on exports because of the connection between trade and good, well-paying jobs, as industries that are export-intensive pay wages that are, on average, more than 50 per cent higher than industries that are not.

To date, the Minister of Transport has approved over $800 million from the National Trade Corridors Fund to 39 projects, creating a total infrastructure investment of $1.9 billion, with funding contributions from other levels of government and the private sector. The projects are located in each province and territory, and will strengthen the efficiency and resilience of the ports, roads, railways, airports and intermodal facilities that Canadian businesses rely on to access global markets.

Transportation is a lifeline for northern communities and economic development projects, but infrastructure development is more costly in the territorial North than in southern Canada for reasons that include: a severe climate, difficult terrain, vast distances, limited access to materials and expertise, and a much shorter construction season. The northern call for proposals was launched on November 19, 2018, and will allocate funding to address unique and urgent transportation infrastructure needs in Canada’s territorial North.

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