To make sure that the infrastructure that people and communities need is built, we will require that all provinces and territories identify and approve all of their long-term infrastructure priorities within the next two years. Funds that aren’t designated for specific projects by the end of 2021 will be reinvested directly in communities through a top-up of the federal Gas Tax Fund.
Our vision is one where communities can afford to build the infrastructure they need to thrive, from roads and bridges to community centres and child care centres, and everything in between. These investments will create good jobs in every part of the country. To get there, we will partner with provinces, territories, First Nations, and municipalities to deliver reliable public infrastructure funding that puts people – not profit – first. By using Community Benefit Agreements, we will guarantee that good jobs, training, apprenticeships, and support for local businesses are part of every infrastructure project.
When it comes to getting around, public transit should be a convenient and affordable option that makes your commute easier, all while taking cars off the road, cutting emissions, and reducing gridlock. New Democrats understand that getting our communities moving is critical for our economy and our quality of life. That’s why we’ll put in place a permanent, direct, allocation-based funding mechanism for modern public transit across Canada for the long run. We’ll also step up investments now to help cities transition their bus fleets to electric and to expand affordable rail and bus options in all parts of the country. And for municipalities that make it a priority, a New Democrat government will work with them towards fare-free transit to ease commutes and make life more affordable.
Nothing is more important than having a place to call home. No matter who you are, you need a safe and affordable place to live and raise your family. But Canadians across the country are facing a housing crisis and we need a government that gets back to work building new affordable housing to help confront it. A New Democrat government will partner with provinces and municipalities to create half a million units of affordable housing over the next ten years. This will include social housing, community, and non-market housing, as well as co-ops. We’ll also streamline the application process and immediately provide dedicated fast-start funds to help communities get the expertise and assistance they need to get projects off the ground now, not years from now. Wherever possible, we’ll encourage provinces to work with social enterprises to make sure that the training and jobs associated with building affordable housing go to those who need opportunities the most.
As the impacts of climate change are felt across the country, New Democrats believe that all levels of government have to step up to help communities cope with the impacts of extreme weather. That’s why a New Democrat government will expand federal funding to respond to disasters and support communities in proactively adapting their infrastructure to withstand floods, forest fires, and other extreme weather events. We will also partner with Canadians and communities to make serious investments in making buildings more energy efficient to help families save money and fight climate change.
In our digital age, technological infrastructure is more important than ever. That’s why we’re committed to making sure that every community in Canada has access to high-speed internet. We’ll also ensure that the right investments are made to expand cell phone coverage to all parts of the country, so that Canadians can stay connected – affordably – no matter where they are.