Ottawa, ON--The federal Conservative government tabled its budget Thursday, announcing it plans to produce growth and balance the budget by 2015.
The first highlights of the budget were available through live streaming this afternoon, and contain some potential positives for the transportation sector.
While the government is focusing strongly on skills training through its Canada Job Grant, which provides funds for training in jobs crucial to the manufacturing sector, the budget also provides for infrastructure funding with a $53 billion dollar investment in roads, bridges and other community infrastructure, $47 billion of that new money coming in over 10 years, starting in 2014-2015.
The Renewed P3 Canada Fund will also offer $1.25 billion to innovations in public infrastructure, the government said.
Infrastructure spending for provincial, territorial and local infrastructure includes$14 billion for a new Building Canada Fund to support major economic projects that have a national, regional and local significance.
Specifically, the budget proposes to provide (a) up to $124.9 million to build a bridge-causeway between Nuns’ Island and the Island of Montreal; (b) $25 million over three years to advance the Windsor-Detroit crossing project; (c)$100 million for Stony Trail Ring Road in Calgary; (d) $705 million for completion of Phase II of highway 30 project in Quebec; (e) up to $365 million to support South Fraser Perimeter Road (Deltaport to TCH); (f) twinning in Banff National Park $267 million; (g) $29.9 million for Highway 8 expansion in Kitchener.
Under the Beyond the Border Action Plan, the federal government over the next five years will commit to the following measures to improve border efficiency: (1) Upgrading border infrastructure at S-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., Lansdowne, Ont., Emerson, Man., and North Portal, Sask., and installing border wait-time technologies at key ports of entry; (2) Implementing a single window for companies to submit electronically all the data required by government departments for arriving shipments; (3) harmonized and enhanced benefits for trusted traders (FAST); (3) Equipping new custom facilities at the port of Vancouver and pilot projects at the ports of Prince Rupert and Montreal; (4) Developing and implementing pilot projects to automate small and remote ports of entry; (5) supporting integrated cross-border law enforcement initiatives; (6) establishing and co-ordinating entry and exit information systems with the United States, including a system where the record of land entry into one country can be utilized to establish a record of exit from the other.
The government also proposes to implement other measures that facilitate the secure movement of people and goods and ensure that border processing is not a hindrance to legitimate trade and travel.