No Infrastructure Bank money for public electricity grids, documents say


OTTAWA — Newly released documents say the federal agency created to finance new infrastructure — and alleviate the burden on the public purse — is not supposed to get involved in projects involving existing public electricity grids.

Many provinces need to upgrade their power transmission systems to deal with green energy projects and are desperate for money to do it.

The documents say the Canada Infrastructure Bank would only get involved in grid projects that were “structured as an isolated entity,” meaning the work would be “separate from a larger public electricity grid.”

The briefing note for a senior Infrastructure Canada official and obtained by The Canadian Press under the federal access-to-information law also says there needed to be a private backer acting as “co-financier and co-owner.”

The documents were drafted for a meeting of federal officials before the agency launched in late 2017, as the government worked on the details of how money would flow to provinces and territories to improve the electrical grid.

The agency now says only that projects involving electricity transmission will be eligible for financing, including projects connecting existing grids.

The Canadian Press