Thanks to Kenneth Chan for this in VanCityBuzz.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first budget has pegged $11.9 billion in infrastructure investments over the next five years, split between public transit, housing, and green projects. It represents just a fraction of what the Liberals intend to spend over the next decade.
This includes $370 million for public transit projects in the Metro Vancouver region, an amount that has been termed as the federal government’s “initial” commitment. It represents a drop in the bucket to cover the costs of Metro Vancouver’s multi-billion dollar transit projects. . . .
. . . The federal government says it will cover up to 50% of transit project construction costs, effectively replacing the existing one-third model used by previous governments. At this time, it is unclear whether Premier Christy Clark’s provincial government will be willing to increase its commitment levels beyond the 33% based on the traditional one-third funding model between levels of federal, provincial, and municipal governments.
Federal funding allocations for transit projects will also depend on the estimated ridership levels of the proposals presented by provincial and local proponents, which will likely benefit high-ridership projects like the Broadway subway and Surrey light rail transit.



  1. Sounds like more than enough to get the initial engineering feasibility studies and geotechnical assessments done, as well as engage architects on station design on the Metro’s two big rapid transit projects. There may be enough left over to supplement bus and SeaBus capital and operations budgets.
    The province has already committed 33% to the projects. Anything less will be backtracking. Vancouver and Surrey may have to find ways to fund some of their 17% share, and development near stations may be a prime source of revenue. Still, 17% is 9% short of the tax revenue pulled by cities after senior governments have engorged themselves. In all fairness, the province, like the feds, should up its share to reflect what it actually pulls from cities.
    Of course, the BC Libs are not known to be fair when it comes to urban transit, but are spending (or plan to spend) foolishly on highways and LNG subsidies that fairness, balance and all sense of proportionality are tossed by the side of the 10-lane freeway.

  2. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, Canada.
    Budget Speech, 2016.
    “…Long-term Growth for the Middle Class
    As important as government help is, what the Canadian middle class needs most is strong economic growth. That is why the government will make new investments in infrastructure from coast to coast to coast.
    We all benefit when infrastructure is improved. New roads and bridges allow us to get around faster. ….”

  3. In terms of economic growth and long-term investment, nothing has been better for the Metro than the advent of SkyTrain and the Canada Line. I suspect a similar long-term development response will occur in Surrey with a new light rail line to complement their three SkyTrain stations. Some of us have a lot of trouble with the urban design at our new town centres, but the positive economic impact of rapid transit cannot be disputed.
    Note that not one cent was devoted to the Massey Bridge in the federal budget. This one was all about urban and social infrastructure, and the long journey back into the fold by the feds after a decade-long absence.
    It’s about time.

  4. No, this one was “all about” finding small areas to fund and save face. Trudeau promised $10 billion deficits during the election; now, reality reveals forecasted annual Fed deficits of $29 billion, $29 billion and $23 billion. $113 billion over the next half-decade.
    And, the daylighting of Massey will proceed, as BC has the capacity to fund that.

  5. This one is about more value for money in the federal budget portion devoted to transit that can ever be achieved by the province building an over-designed monster bridge completely devoid of any solid commitment to public transit or long-term operating cost recovery. Two rail tracks could easily move orders of magnitude more people and easily displace four+ lanes of SOV traffic at far less cost per passenger (that’s plain geometry and ridership capacity). There is no way that commercial traffic needs 10 lanes. This is not Shanghai.

  6. Justin is right in continuing to support the automotive fund set up by Stephen Harper in 2008.
    The automotive industry is among Canada’s leading employers and exporters, valued at $17 billion per year and directly employing more than 125,000 Canadians from automotive assembly to parts production. As the global automotive industry is evolving toward the production of cleaner, more connected vehicles, Canada has an opportunity to apply its strengths in areas such as lightweighting and information and communications technologies to designing and building the cars of the future. The Government of Canada partners with the Government of Ontario and the automotive industry to attract strategic, large-scale research and development projects focused on new vehicle technologies through the Automotive Innovation Fund. Budget 2016 announces the extension of the Automotive Innovation Fund, which is currently scheduled to sunset at the end of 2017–18, through to the end of 2020–21. In the coming months, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development will work, in collaboration with the Government of Ontario and industry stakeholders, to raise the profile of Canada’s strong capabilities and better influence investment location decisions necessary for the long-term competitiveness of the Canadian automotive sector. As part of this work, the Government will examine approaches that will allow it to maximize the impact of federal support offered to the automotive sector, including through assessing the terms of the Automotive Innovation Fund. ”
    Budget 2016

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