Chapter 2 - Investing in the New Economy

Table of Contents

With its first budget, the government charted a course to build a strong economy that works for all Canadians, and to create long-term economic growth by strengthening and growing the middle class.

This Fall Economic Statement is a continuation of those efforts, with more work ahead in the months leading up to the next federal budget.

The government’s plan for middle class progress reflects an understanding shared by Canadians that a country can’t cut its way to prosperity. The world is changing. Trade is shifting to Asia and other developing regions, the Internet is transforming how we communicate, live and work, and economies are investing to become cleaner and more sustainable.

To create jobs and grow our economy, investment is needed now to deliver a brighter, more prosperous future for generations to come.

The government will continue to pursue sustained and shared economic growth, and in the Fall Economic Statement, we are taking three specific actions as part of this plan.

Investing in Canada—Investments in infrastructure create good, well-paying jobs that help strengthen and grow the middle class today, and deliver sustained economic growth for years to come. This Fall Economic Statement introduces transformational investments in infrastructure—investments that will help to deliver the jobs that Canadians need while ensuring that our communities are better, more liveable places to call home.

Creating Jobs and Prosperity for the Middle Class—A strong economy starts with a strong and prosperous middle class. The new initiatives included in this Fall Economic Statement will attract investment and talent from around the world, creating more jobs for Canadians and greater prosperity for Canada’s middle class.

Delivering More Open and Transparent Government—Canadians expect government to be open, transparent, accountable and always focused on the people it is meant to serve. With this Fall Economic Statement, the government continues its efforts to make government activities and services more open and transparent.

Together, these priorities will continue to deliver real change for all Canadians.

Investing in Canada

A Long-Term Plan to Build Strong Communities, Create Jobs and Grow the Economy

Now is the time to invest in Canada.

Across the country, people and communities are in need. The middle class and those working hard to join it need the opportunities that come with good, well-paying jobs, and communities need help to maintain, improve and expand the things that make Canada’s towns and cities great places to live—things like reliable public transit, treatment plants to keep water safe, and affordable housing for people at all stages of life.

Investing in Canada’s infrastructure builds strong communities and helps to strengthen and grow the middle class, setting the stage for sustained economic growth in the future.

In Budget 2016, the government made a down payment on future growth by making immediate investments of $11.9 billion in public transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure.

These investments are already making a difference in communities across the country:

Phase 1 investments, along with other measures announced in Budget 2016, will help create or maintain an estimated 100,000 jobs, including jobs in project planning and management, engineering and construction.

This Fall Economic Statement strengthens the government’s commitment to long-term growth for the middle class. It proposes an additional investment of $81 billion over 11 years, starting in 2017–18, in public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation that supports trade, Canada’s rural and northern communities, and smart cities.

As part of these investments, the government will continue to boost its investments in infrastructure in Indigenous communities.

The government will also establish a new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide innovative financing for infrastructure projects, and help more projects get built in Canada, where public capital can be leveraged.

Chart 2.1
Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
Chart 2.1 - Long-Term Infrastructure Plan. For details, refer to the preceding paragraphs.
1 Includes Phase 1 ($11.9 billion), strategic investments in post-secondary infrastructure ($2.0 billion) and rural broadband ($500 million). See Table 2.1 for details.
2 Includes Infrastructure Canada programs, Indigenous infrastructure programs and social infrastructure programs.


Taking into account existing infrastructure programs, new investments made in Budget 2016 and the additional investments contained in this Fall Economic Statement, the government will make a total investment in Canada's communities of more than $180 billion.

This commitment is unprecedented in Canadian history.

While these investments are significant, they cannot succeed in isolation. The government remains committed to working with the provinces and territories, municipal governments, Indigenous leaders and other partners to determine the best ways to invest, so that the benefits of investment can be felt by all Canadians.

At every stage, the government’s choices will be informed by the principles of responsible spending, proper controls, transparent decision making and the measurement of results.

Public Transit: Faster Commutes and Innovative Communities

In too many Canadian communities, traffic congestion and long commutes are taking their toll.

The resulting gridlock makes life more difficult for busy families, and has a negative effect on Canada’s economy—when workers can’t easily get to work, it erodes productivity, and when businesses can’t get their goods to market quickly and reliably, it undermines growth.

To improve and expand public transit systems across Canada, the government in Budget 2016 committed to an initial investment of $3.4 billion over three years, through the new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

This funding is aimed at shortening commute times, reducing air pollution, strengthening communities and growing Canada’s economy.

Early Results of Phase 1 Investments in Transit Infrastructure


To support the next phase of ambitious public transit projects, the government proposes an investment of $25.3 billion over the next 11 years, some of which will flow through the new Canada Infrastructure Bank, in public transit systems across the country. With this additional funding, Canadian communities will be able to build the new urban transit networks and service extensions that will transform the way that Canadians live, move and work.


The government has engaged provincial governments, cities and communities on implementation of ambitious projects. According to our partners, these projects could include1:

As part of the additional investments in public transit, funding will also be available to improve the quality and condition of existing assets, so that systems can remain in good repair, serving more riders in a timely and reliable fashion.

In the coming months, the government will continue to work to ensure the successful implementation of Phase 1 investments in support of public transit infrastructure, and will announce further details on the allocations for the new $25.3 billion investment in public transit through Budget 2017.

What Success Will Look Like

Josh and Josée

Josh and Josée live in Toronto, and each spend more than 90 minutes commuting to and from their downtown jobs every day—that’s three hours every day that could be better spent at work, or with family and friends. By building new underground transit lines to their neighbourhood, and investing in service improvements for surface routes along major corridors, federal investments will result in reduced commute times, and allow Josh and Josée to spend less time getting back and forth to work and more time at home with their young family.
Pathways to Shorter Commute Times

Traffic congestion in Canada’s largest urban centres takes its toll on the health and well-being of Canadians. It creates air pollution, eats away at the time families can spend with their loved ones, and puts pressure on middle class Canadians, who are forced to choose between more affordable housing farther from work and reduced commute times that often come with higher housing costs. Integrated transportation plans for cities—including better, more reliable transit systems and efficient allocation of traffic to roadways, bridges and bicycle paths—can help to address these challenges.

Working with its partners on transit and transportation plans, the government will develop measures and clear metrics to measure the impact that high-potential projects have in reducing urban congestion, improving transit service and shortening commute times for Canadians.

Green Infrastructure: Clean Air, Clean Water

To ensure that Canada’s communities are healthy and productive places to live, Budget 2016 made an initial investment of $5.0 billion over the next five years in green infrastructure.

This investment will help more Canadian families have access to safe water, and greener communities where they can watch their children play and grow. This investment will also support the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and help communities as they adapt to the challenges that come with a changing climate.

Early Results of Phase 1 Investments in Green Infrastructure


To continue this important work, and to accelerate progress, the government proposes $21.9 billion over 11 years for green infrastructure. This will include targeted investments, including through the new Canada Infrastructure Bank, that support greenhouse gas emission reductions; enable greater climate change adaptation and resilience; and ensure that more communities can provide clean air and safe drinking water for their citizens.


The government will work with its provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous partners to evaluate, select and fund the green infrastructure projects that will deliver the best outcomes for Canadians.

Projects that may receive these additional investments include, among others: inter-provincial transmission lines that reduce reliance on coal; the development of new low-carbon/renewable power projects; the expansion of smart grids to make more efficient use of existing power supplies; and the construction of infrastructure to help manage the risk associated with floods and wildfires.

In the coming months, the government will continue to work to ensure the successful implementation of Phase 1 investments in support of green infrastructure, and will announce further details on the allocations for the $21.9 billion investment in green infrastructure through Budget 2017.


What Success Will Look Like

The communities of Canmore, Bragg Creek and Raymond, Alberta were hit hard by flooding in 2013. This year, the government contributed $20.5 million to projects in the region to build a dam to protect against flood damage, control erosion and build a storm water diversion project. These projects will help protect 180 local businesses and thousands of residents in these communities.

Residents of the Pic Mobert First Nation in northern Ontario have been affected by two long-term drinking water advisories for over six years. Thanks to the government’s investments in the community’s public water system, one of these advisories was lifted in June 2016 and the other is expected to be lifted this fiscal year. The completion of this project, one of 195 water and wastewater capital projects underway in First Nations communities across Canada, will provide the community with access to safe drinking water. Since the commitment to end long-term drinking water advisories was made, 14 of these advisories have been removed and Budget 2016 is supporting projects that will remove more. For example, the recent approval of $11.6 million in funding for the Slate Falls First Nation in northern Ontario will support the elimination of nine drinking water advisories that have been in place in the community for 12 years.
Pathways to a Cleaner Environment

In partnership with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, the government will establish meaningful environmental targets for green infrastructure projects to ensure that investments lead to measurable results for Canadians. Examples of measurable results could be our ability to grow the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution; a reduction in overall energy consumption; better outcomes for communities facing threats presented by climate change; or better water quality in Canada’s freshwater lakes and rivers.

Social Infrastructure: Better Neighbourhoods for Our Kids

Across Canada, strong communities have many things in common—they are home to a strong and growing middle class, they offer help and support to those working hard to join the middle class, and they invest in building better, more inclusive and more caring neighbourhoods.

Canadians understand that working together and helping each other delivers the best results for everyone—whether the goal is to grow our economy, educate the next generation of children or deliver better health outcomes for seniors.

In its first budget, the government chose to reflect Canadians’ commitment to each other through a $3.4 billion investment in social infrastructure, to be delivered over five years. Of this, $1.2 billion is being invested in Indigenous communities, which is a key pillar of the government’s strategy to create growth that benefits everyone. These investments are targeted at expanding affordable housing, supporting early learning and child care, improving health care in Indigenous communities, and building more cultural and recreational infrastructure, such as community centres, museums, parks and arenas.

Early Results of Phase 1 Investments in Social Infrastructure


To ensure that Canada’s communities continue to be great places to call home, the government proposes a further investment of $21.9 billion into social infrastructure over 11 years.


These investments are needed to deliver more safe, adequate and affordable housing—something every Canadian needs to feel confident about. Investments in affordable housing will accelerate support to those who need it most, while creating good, well-paying jobs that help strengthen and grow the middle class, and Canada’s economy.

These investments will also make it easier for families to access the affordable, high-quality child care they need. With more early learning and child care spaces available to Canadian families, parents can continue to work—building a better future for their families and a stronger economy for all.

In the coming months, the government will continue to work to ensure the successful implementation of Phase 1 investments in support of social infrastructure, and will announce further details on the allocations for the new $21.9 billion investment in social infrastructure through Budget 2017.


What Success Will Look Like

Adam and Farah

Adam and Farah are two working parents who are expecting their second child. Faced with mounting child care costs, Farah is concerned that she may have to leave the workforce while her children are young—a move that would affect her career and family’s livelihood in the long run. New federal investments in social infrastructure will allow Farah to continue working, knowing that her children will thrive and learn in a safe and supportive environment.
Pathways to a More Inclusive Society

Working with provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous partners, the government will work to establish targets to ensure that investments in social infrastructure lead to meaningful results. For example, the effectiveness of investments in affordable housing could be measured by a reduction in the number of Canadian households in “core housing need” (living in housing conditions that are inadequate, unsuitable or unaffordable). Similarly, success could also be gauged by an increase in the number of affordable, high-quality child care spaces, or a reduction in overcrowding in housing in First Nations communities.

Getting Canadian Products to Global Markets

Canada is a trading nation and needs world-class infrastructure in order to stay competitive on a global scale. A safe, sustainable and efficient transportation system brings global markets closer to Canada. As noted in the recent report of the Canada Transportation Act Review, “the performance of the transportation system underpins the country’s trade performance, the performance of the economy and the health and sustainability of communities.”

Over the next 11 years, the government will invest $10.1 billion in trade and transportation projects. This investment will build stronger, more efficient transportation corridors to international markets and help Canadian business to compete, grow and create more jobs for Canada’s middle class.

Priority investments would include those that address congestion and bottlenecks along vital corridors and around transportation hubs and ports providing access to world markets. The government will also support critical transportation needs in Canada’s north, to help connect northern communities to trade and investment opportunities.

Trade must flow through our transportation system safely and securely, protecting Canadians, their communities, and our coastlines and waters. In particular, the government is committed to the idea that a clean marine environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. Marine safety will be a key area of focus, to allow our goods and natural resources to get to market efficiently. The government is also committed to improving rail safety, as Transport Canada continues to implement Budget 2016 investments of $143 million to continue to protect Canadians by making railway operations in Canada and the transportation of dangerous goods as safe and secure as possible. These actions include increasing inspection capacity and providing first responders with better tools and information to protect communities.

Budget 2017 will announce further details on the approach the government will take for the allocation of this new investment to facilitate and expand the access of Canadian goods to global markets.


What Success Will Look Like


Edward owns a small clean technology manufacturing plant in Vancouver. Thanks to investments that will improve processing times at nearby port facilities, Edward’s shipping time to customers in Asia will be reduced by up to 25 per cent, allowing him to compete with global suppliers, improve his profit margins and hire new employees to expand his business.
Pathways to Leadership in Global Trade

Investments will help to strengthen Canada’s trade competitiveness, giving Canadian exporters faster and more reliable access to international markets, creating more business opportunities for Canadian logistics companies and freight forwarding operators, and driving economic growth in communities surrounding Canada’s ports, borders and trade gateways. The government will work with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and private sector partners to establish indicators that track the effectiveness of investments, and will report to Canadians on progress achieved in improving Canada’s trade position.

Investments in Trade and Transportation Corridors

Canada’s approach to trade corridors is evidence-based, using data on and analysis of transportation systems to identify the projects that will deliver the greatest trade benefits. One project that showcases this approach is the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. The federal government brought together 11 public and private sector partners, and together they completed a $307 million project to improve road and rail corridors connecting Canada’s busiest port that reduced traffic congestion, noise pollution and emissions from idling vehicles, while improving safety for nearby communities.

Rural and Northern Communities

The government’s infrastructure plan will invest in priority infrastructure projects from coast to coast to coast, in urban and rural communities.

Some communities, such as those in rural and northern regions of the country, have unique needs that require a more targeted approach.

In recognition of these distinct needs, the government proposes to supplement investments into rural and northern communities from the Investing in Canada plan by investing an additional $2.0 billion over 11 years in these communities.

Broad eligibility criteria will be established that respect the wide-ranging nature of infrastructure needs, from expanding road access and Internet connectivity, to upgrading existing heating systems, to pursuing renewable sources of energy and reducing reliance on diesel.

Investing in rural and northern communities will encourage economic growth by better supporting the many parts of Canada where food and resources are grown, harvested, mined and exported. These investments will help to “build up and build out” the northern communities that are home to many Indigenous peoples, and strengthen the links between Canada’s urban centres and more remote areas, further supporting the government’s vision of a more connected, more inclusive country.

The government will announce further details on the allocations for the new $2.0 billion investment to support rural and northern communities through Budget 2017.

Pathways to Strong Rural and Northern Communities

Investments in rural and northern infrastructure will help grow local economies, improve social inclusiveness and better safeguard the health and environment of rural communities. The government will work with provinces, territories, municipalities and Indigenous communities to establish indicators that track the outcomes of these investments, recognizing the unique needs of rural and northern communities.

Smart Cities Challenge

Canada’s cities are growing at a rapid rate, and now is the time to make smart infrastructure investments that will prepare urban communities for the challenges ahead.

To accelerate the planning and adoption of innovative urban infrastructure, the government proposes to launch a Smart Cities Challenge in 2017. Modelled on a similar competition in the U.S., cities across Canada would be invited to develop Smart Cities Plans together with local government, citizens, businesses and civil society.

Participants will create ambitious plans to improve the quality of life for urban residents, through better city planning and implementation of clean, digitally connected technology including greener buildings, smart roads and energy systems, and advanced digital connectivity for homes and businesses.

Further details will be announced in 2017.

Innovative Financing: The Canada Infrastructure Bank

Low interest rates mean that governments have a unique opportunity to significantly enhance their investments in infrastructure that will reap benefits for generations to come. At the same time, there is a great opportunity for the government to leverage its investments in infrastructure, by bringing in private capital to the table to multiply the level of investment.

Institutional investors, including Canadian investors, are looking to invest their capital in assets that provide stable, long-term and predictable returns, and there is no investment opportunity that fits this description better than infrastructure. Based on estimates developed for the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, public and private pension funds currently hold US$170 billion worth of infrastructure investment globally, and there is a potential to multiply this level of investment 10 to 14 times, with Canada well positioned to attract its fair share of this investment.

As part of a broader objective to attract investment in Canada, the government is striving to provide investment opportunities at home for these funds. It is a true win-win—delivering the solid returns that seniors need for a secure and dignified retirement, while building even more of the infrastructure the next generation of Canadians needs to succeed and prosper.

To attract and manage this new investment stream and help achieve the ambitious objectives for Investing in Canada, the government is proposing the creation of a Canada Infrastructure Bank that will work with provinces, territories and municipalities to further the reach of government funding directed to infrastructure. The Canada Infrastructure Bank, governments and investors will work together to identify a pipeline of potential projects and identify investment opportunities that provide the biggest economic, social and environmental returns. The Canada Infrastructure Bank will be a key component of Investing in Canada, concluding and executing complex infrastructure deals using a wide breadth of financial instruments at its disposal, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will be responsible for investing at least $35 billion on a cash basis from the federal government into large infrastructure projects that contribute to economic growth through direct investments, loans, loan guarantees and equity investments. Part of this amount—$15 billion—will be sourced from the announced funding for public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation, and rural and northern communities. An additional $20 billion in capital will be available to the Canada Infrastructure Bank for investments which will result in the Bank holding assets—in the form of equity or debt. This $20 billion will therefore not result in a fiscal impact for the government.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will be accountable to, and partner with, government, but will operate at greater arm’s length than a department—working with provincial, territorial, municipal, Indigenous and investment partners to transform the way infrastructure is planned, funded and delivered in Canada.

By levering the expertise and capital of the private sector, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will provide better results for middle class Canadians. Public dollars will go farther and be used strategically, maximizing opportunities to create the good, well-paying jobs needed to grow the middle class now, and strengthen Canada’s economy over the long term.

Vancouver’s Canada Line—Better Public Infrastructure Through Private Sector Partnerships

The Canada Line in Vancouver is a $1.9 billion, 19.5 kilometre rail rapid transit project connecting downtown Vancouver, central Broadway, Richmond and Vancouver International Airport. The line opened in 2009, and currently serves about 122,000 commuters every weekday.

The project was delivered through a 35-year design/build/finance/operate public-private partnership contract with the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority and InTransitBC, a limited partnership formed by SNC-Lavalin, the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

During the construction period, InTransitBC was paid only after project milestones—such as substantial completion of the line—were achieved. As the operator, it is paid based on the achievement of performance targets related to train frequency, safety and cleanliness. InTransitBC is also assuming some measure of revenue risk for the project—payments will only be made when the system achieves ridership targets. The Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority retains ownership of the line.

Seven years after its opening, the Canada Line is delivering real results for citizens in Metro Vancouver, allowing them to get to and from work more quickly, and improving the liveability and sustainability of their communities.

By partnering with the private sector and ensuring payments are made based on performance, the project was expected to achieve around $92 million (net present value) in savings, compared to the cost of having the public sector develop and deliver the project alone.

Canada Infrastructure Bank


The Canada Infrastructure Bank will make investments in revenue-generating infrastructure projects and plans that contribute to the long-term sustainability of infrastructure across the country. It will be mandated to work with project sponsors to:

  • Structure, negotiate and deliver federal support for infrastructure projects with revenue-generating potential;
  • Use innovative financial tools to invest in national and regional infrastructure projects and attract private sector capital to public infrastructure projects;
  • Serve as a single point of contact for unsolicited proposals from the private sector; and
  • Improve evidence-based decision making and advise governments on the design and negotiation of revenue-generating infrastructure projects.


The Canada Infrastructure Bank will hire the talent and expertise necessary to develop and execute project deals with private sector investors to deliver the best value for public resources.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s governance model will reflect its broad and ambitious mandate. The government will be responsible for setting the overall policy direction and high-level investment priorities for the Canada Infrastructure Bank, consistent with the commitments outlined in ministerial mandate letters.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will play a complementary role in developing innovative infrastructure financing deals, resulting in more total infrastructure investment than would otherwise be the case.

Though arm’s length, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will be responsive and accountable to the government for the allocation of federal resources.

Financial Tools

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will be a key component of Investing in Canada, concluding and executing complex infrastructure deals using a wide breadth of financial instruments at its disposal, including:

  • Direct investments;
  • Repayable contributions;
  • Debt (e.g., loans, loan guarantees), both unsubordinated and subordinated;
  • Equity investments, both unsubordinated and subordinated; and
  • A hybrid of the above.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will be responsible for delivering at least $35 billion on a cash basis to large infrastructure projects that contribute to economic growth. The objective of the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s participation will be to structure its financial support in order to attract private sector capital and conclude project deals. The timing and design of federal support will seek to minimize the amount of government support required to make the project financially viable.

Innovative Infrastructure Deals That Deliver More Value for Canadians

The Canada Infrastructure Bank will have the flexibility to participate in complex infrastructure deals in new and innovative ways. This could include:

  • Participating as a subordinated equity partner in a new large public transit project to encourage the transfer of revenue risk to the private sector investor;
  • Facilitating an interprovincial clean energy grid project through the provision of a loan guarantee to lower risk and reduce financing costs for the proponent; and
  • Providing low-cost loans to private sector investors to advance complex trade corridor projects.

By using innovative financing tools to leverage private sector capital, public infrastructure dollars can go farther and build more projects.

Chart 2.2
Sources of Funds for Co-Funded Infrastructure Projects
(Based on a $500 Million Infrastructure Project)
Chart 2.2 - Sources of Funds for Co-Funded Infrastructure Projects. Based on a $500 Million Infrastructure Project. For details, see the previous paragraphs.

Text Version

Table 2.1
Investing in Canada—Total Federal Government Spending in Infrastructure
(millions of dollars)
Fall Economic Statement 
Public Transit 0 300 1,100 1,100 1,500 1,800 2,200 2,500 2,800 4,000 4,000 4,000 25,300
Green Infrastructure 0 0 1,100 1,100 1,400 1,800 2,200 2,500 2,800 3,000 3,000 3,000 21,900
Social Infrastructure 0 0 1,100 1,100 1,400 1,800 2,200 2,500 2,800 3,000 3,000 3,000 21,900
Trade and Transportation 0 400 500 700 800 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100 10,100
Rural and Northern Communities 0 0 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 2,000
Total—Fall Economic Statement 0 700 4,000 4,200 5,300 6,700 7,900 8,800 9,700 11,300 11,300 11,300 81,200
Canada Infrastructure Bank delivers at least $15 billion, on accrual basis, of funding above ($35 billion on cash basis)
Details on program architecture and specific allocations will be announced in Budget 2017
Budget 2016 
Public Transit 852 1,696 852 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3,400
Green Infrastructure 874 1,562 1,157 746 671 27 1 19 0 0 0 0 5,057
Social Infrastructure 1,653 1,679 53 36 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3,441
Strategic Investments in Post-Secondary Institutions 500 1,250 250 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2,000
Rural Broadband 6 81 253 108 52 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 500
Total—Budget 2016 3,885 6,268 2,565 890 743 27 1 19 0 0 0 0 14,398
Existing Infrastructure Programs 
Infrastructure legacy programs 5,765 5,298 7,618 5,285 5,417 4,381 4,326 4,426 4,426 4,526 3,718 3,718 58,905
Social and Green Infrastructure (CMHC, INAC, Public Safety Canada, Health Canada, ESDC, PHAC, Canadian Heritage)1 3,384 3,370 3,323 2,898 2,800 2,720 2,580 2,450 2,321 2,219 2,123 1,996 32,186
Total—Existing Infrastructure Programs 9,149 8,668 10,941 8,183 8,217 7,101 6,906 6,876 6,747 6,745 5,841 5,714 91,090
Total New and Existing Infrastructure Programs 13,034 15,636 17,507 13,273 14,260 13,829 14,807 15,695 16,447 18,045 17,141 17,014 186,688
1 CMHC: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; INAC: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; ESDC: Employment and Social Development Canada; PHAC: Public Health Agency of Canada.

Creating Jobs and Prosperity for the Middle Class

A plan for middle class progress is, at its core, a plan to create good, well-paying jobs. Such jobs are central to building a strong middle class, which in turn drives long-term economic growth.

We know one of the most transformative changes in Canada’s growth in the late 20th century was driven by women entering the workforce. In the 21st century, we must find new ways to create the diversity of jobs that reflect the diversity of Canadians.

For generations, trade and investment have helped to drive middle class prosperity, with jobs in export-intensive industries often paying 50 per cent higher wages than jobs in industries that are not export-intensive. Today, Canada faces increasingly fierce competition for both trade and global investment.

Canada is a great place to do business

Now is the time to sharpen Canada’s competitive edge and seek new and innovative ways to attract investment and talent from around the world.

A great place to do business, Canada has a great deal to offer investors: enviable financial and economic stability, a well-skilled, diverse and well-educated workforce, an inviting business climate and access to large and growing markets.

Through several new initiatives, the government intends to secure greater investment in Canada, creating more jobs and greater prosperity for the middle class.

Attracting Investment

Around the world, leading companies are looking for stable places to invest and grow their businesses. Smart countries are mobilizing to take advantage of the opportunities and jobs that go hand in hand with global investment. Canada cannot afford to be left behind.

To date, Canada’s efforts to attract global investment have been hampered by lack of coordination—the various federal, provincial and municipal promotion agencies, as well as the multiplicity of programs and rules, means we are missing too many investment opportunities.

To ensure that Canada makes the most of every opportunity to attract global investment and the jobs that come with it, the government is allocating $218 million over five years to create a new federal body, the Invest in Canada Hub, and to increase the number of trade commissioners focused on investment attraction in strategic markets.

The Invest in Canada Hub will employ a new, dedicated high-impact sales force to promote Canada, and to work with global companies to increase investment that will benefit Canada.

Under the leadership of a new Chief Executive Officer, the Invest in Canada Hub will be established by the end of 2017, and will work globally, in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, as well as with provincial and municipal investment attraction offices.

To ensure that Canada’s legislative framework supports investments that can create jobs and opportunities for middle class Canadians, the threshold for review under the Investment Canada Act will be raised to $1 billion in 2017, two years sooner than the planned date in 2019.

Before the end of 2016, the government will also publish guidelines under which investments are examined under national security provisions. This increased transparency will help investors better understand and navigate the review process, while ensuring the integrity of our national security processes is maintained.

Global Skills Strategy

Canadian workers are among the most highly educated and highly skilled workers in the world. The goods they produce and the services they provide are respected the world over. That said, Canada needs to be able to access the skills and expertise of talented workers from around the world to enable Canadian firms to succeed in the global marketplace.

“Our future success is largely driven by attracting talented people from around the world. Our diversity not only brings its own economic and social rewards, but with Canada’s aging population, having a robust, effective, and efficient immigration system is critical to our long-term economic growth.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

In too many cases, long processing times for work permits make it difficult for Canadian businesses to attract the talent they need to succeed. Whether it’s to bring in staff to help train Canadian workers or bring new, international experiences to Canadian companies, once here, these talented workers can drive innovation and help Canadian firms to grow and prosper—leading to more jobs for Canada’s middle class and a stronger economy for all.

To help attract global investment and global talent, the government proposes to launch a Global Skills Strategy that will set an ambitious two-week standard for processing visas and work permits for global talent.

This initiative will look to support:

In addition to the Global Skills Strategy, the government will introduce a new work permit exemption for short-duration work terms. The short-duration work permit exemption will apply for work terms of fewer than 30 days in a year—or for brief academic stays—and will be used to facilitate short-term, inter-company work exchanges, study exchanges, or the entrance of temporary expertise.

Delivering More Open and Transparent Government

Canadians expect government to be open, transparent, accountable and always focused on the people it is meant to serve. With this Fall Economic Statement, the government continues its efforts to make government activities and services more open and transparent. Four key initiatives will help to drive this change.

More Independence for the Parliamentary Budget Officer

Parliament needs access to information, resources and expertise so that it can best serve Canadians, more fully consider the financial and economic implications of the matters before it, and truly hold the government to account.

To enhance that access, the government will introduce new legislation to establish the Parliamentary Budget Officer as an independent Officer of Parliament, separate from the Library of Parliament. With these changes, the Parliamentary Budget Officer will serve Parliament with a renewed mandate to focus on costing and financial analysis of the federal government. Like other Officers of Parliament, the appointment will be based on merit and approved by Parliament, and the Parliamentary Budget Officer will only be removable for cause instead of serving at the pleasure of the sitting government.

As a servant of Parliament, the Parliamentary Budget Officer will report back to Parliament and Parliamentarians with research and analysis such as: costing requested by Parliamentarians; prescribed reports (for example, analysis of the federal budget or Estimates); and other research and analysis on costing and finances of the federal government.

The new legislation will also grant the Parliamentary Budget Officer greater access to relevant information held by departments and Crown corporations, balanced against necessary restrictions, such as protection of privacy, commercially sensitive information and issues of national security.

Finally, as exists in other jurisdictions, the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s mandate will include costing of platform proposals at the request of political parties to ensure Canadians have a credible non-partisan way to assess a party’s fiscal plans.

More Independence for the Chief Statistician of Canada

Statistics play an essential role in modern society. Statistics Canada’s open information platform is a vital tool to understanding ourselves, our past and our future. Canadians rely on the integrity and accuracy of this data in order to properly manage government services, improve social outcomes and facilitate business growth.

To ensure that Canadians continue to benefit from high-quality statistics produced in accordance with internationally recognized methods and standards, the government will introduce legislative amendments to the Statistics Actto reinforce the independence of Statistics Canada.

Specifically, the amendments will:

While the independence of the Chief Statistician of Canada has long been a matter of convention, these amendments will entrench in law the Chief Statistician’s independence from the government of the day. This will protect the integrity of Statistics Canada and the valuable information it provides.

An End to Secrecy at the Board of Internal Economy

Consistent with its commitment to deliver more open and transparent government, the government will introduce measures to bring to an end the secrecy that surrounds the Board of Internal Economy, the body that makes decisions and provides direction on financial and administrative matters of the House of Commons.

The government intends to make the Board’s meetings open by default, and in all but exceptional cases involving sensitive or personal information, business of the Board of Internal Economy will be made public.

Greater Clarity on Government Spending

Parliament’s current system of financial accountability is confusing and provides insufficient information to Parliamentarians and Canadians.

Under the Parliamentary budget cycle, the government tables two primary sets of financial planning documents: the Estimates and the budget.

The Estimates provide information on a subset of planned spending for the current fiscal year, and support the annual appropriation bills through which Parliamentary approval of spending is sought. This is presented on a cash accounting basis.

The budget, in contrast, is the document through which the government details the entirety of its revenue and spending plans for the current and, typically, five future years. This is presented on an accrual accounting basis.

Unfortunately, both the timing of the two documents and the differing scope and accounting methods mean that the Estimates cannot be easily compared to the budget. These issues, combined with an insufficient focus in the Estimates on programs and results, make it difficult for Parliamentarians to fully hold government to account when asked to vote on government spending.

Parliamentarians have voiced these concerns in the past. Most recently, a 2012 report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates recommended key changes to the Estimates process to improve transparency and relevance to Parliamentarians, for example, by better connecting the budget and Estimates documents.

To help make the process of reviewing government spending more open, transparent and accountable, the government proposes to implement reforms to the Estimates process over the next several years.

Specifically, the government will:

More Rigorous and Inclusive Analysis

To ensure that the government continues to deliver real and meaningful change for all Canadians, it will submit Budget 2017, and all future budgets, to more rigorous analysis by completing and publishing a gender-based analysis of budgetary measures.

1 Examples are for illustrative purposes only. Inclusion does not constitute final project approval.

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