The Ontario government says it is participating in a new infrastructure program that will make the province’s roads safer, commutes easier, and communities healthier.

Minister of Infrastructure Monte McNaughton made the announcement just outside of Kitchener on Tuesday.

“Today’s historic infrastructure investment marks the start of billions of dollars in funding that will improve the well being of the people of Ontario. And it is part of our plan to balance the budget in a responsible, sustainable way while creating and protecting good jobs.”

The program will invest $30 billion in combined federal, provincial, and local investments in communities across the province over the next 10 years.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario President and Mayor of Parry Sound Jamie McGarvey says AMO welcomes the new Canada Infrastructure Program.

McGarvey says, “Rural and northern communities depend on safe and reliable roads and bridges. They are essential to local quality of life and prosperity”.

The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program will be cost-shared between the federal, provincial, and municipal governments.

Ontario’s share per project will be up to 33 percent or $10.2 billion spread across four streams:

  1. Rural and Northern
  2. Public Transit
  3. Green
  4. Community, Culture, and Recreation.

The first intake for the Rural and Northern stream will be open for eight weeks and will focus on road, bridge, air or marine infrastructure in rural and northern communities with populations under 100,000 people.

Those approximately 500 communities will have eight weeks beginning March 18 to nominate road and bridge projects.

The program also offers the Grants Ontario website, a “one-window” source for grant applicants which handles submissions, review, nomination, reporting and transfer payment management processes – all in one place.

Commenting  on the website, Mayor McGarvey says, “Importantly, the ‘one-window’ approach that Ontario and the federal government have put in place will offer Ontario’s municipal governments an efficient means to access infrastructure funding.”