|Description of the horizontal initiative
The Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), which received funding in the 2001, 2003 and 2006 federal budgets, is a cost-shared contribution program for strategic infrastructure projects. To date, funding has been approved to support 83 projects.
Investments are directed to projects of major national and regional significance and are to be made in areas that are vital to sustaining economic growth and supporting an enhanced quality of life for Canadians. The CSIF is delivered through negotiated agreements with provincial, territorial or local governments, private partners or non-governmental organizations. Contribution agreements are tailored based on the project requirements.
The Canada Strategic Infrastructure Act outlines the prime categories of investments in projects that involve fixed capital assets that are used or operated for the benefit of the public. The categories eligible under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund are:
- Highway and Rail Infrastructure;
- Local Transportation Infrastructure;
- Tourism or Urban Development Infrastructure;
- Water or Sewage Infrastructure; and
- Other categories approved by regulation, e.g. Advanced Telecommunications and High-Speed Broadband, Northern Infrastructure.
The overall planned results Infrastructure Canada expects to achieve through CSIF are to invest in projects which:
- facilitate the movement of goods and people on Canada's National Highway System for the purposes of increasing the productivity, economic efficiency, and safety of Canada's surface transportation system;
- facilitate the safe and efficient movement of goods and people, ease congestion, or reduce greenhouse gases and airborne pollutants;
- ensure that tourism continues to contribute to the economic well-being of Canadians and to serve as a bridge between Canada and the world;
- ensure that drinking water is safe, clean and reliable at drinking water facilities, and ensure sustainable treatment of wastewater; and
- expand broadband networks in Canada.
All CSIF projects are selected under the authority of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to selecting projects, the Minister consults other Ministers who have an interest in the region or in the substantive project area. After project selection, Treasury Board approval is sought for each project contribution. At the same time, incremental operating funds required for project oversight and management by the implementing departments/agencies are identified in the Treasury Board submission.
The fund is delivered in partnership involving primarily three sets of key collaborators:
- Infrastructure Canada: As the coordinating and funding agent for the contribution, Infrastructure Canada is responsible for project review, selection, approval, public announcements, environmental assessment in some cases, and program evaluation. It leads the negotiation of contribution agreements with each of the funding recipients, except for transportation projects where Transport Canada is the lead. Infrastructure Canada (or Transport Canada, for transportation projects) develops, in coordination with the implementing department/agency, the submission to Treasury Board for the approval of funds. Infrastructure Canada is also responsible for the overall management of program funding, for seeking appropriation of funds from Parliament through Contribution Votes and for transferring funds to the federal delivery partners. To monitor activities and milestones throughout the project life cycle, an Infrastructure Canada representative will usually sit on the project's Agreement Steering Committee.
- A federal delivery partner: Infrastructure Canada's relationship with each federal delivery partner varies with the capacity and the complexity of the project. Umbrella Memoranda of Understanding govern the relationship between Infrastructure Canada and each federal delivery partner for the implementation of CSIF projects. Responsibilities may however also be negotiated specifically for each project. The federal delivery partner may provide technical assistance in the analysis of the business case, determining the costs and benefits to be realized, and providing advice on the development of the contribution agreement and Treasury Board submission. Except for broadband projects where Infrastructure Canada retains all responsibilities for the implementation of the project, the federal delivery partner will support implementation of CSIF projects in a manner that upholds federal due diligence in such areas as overseeing the implementation of mitigation measures identified in the environmental assessment, assessing the eligibility and reasonability of project costs, providing information pertaining to cash flow and budget, approving claims, making payments, and conducting audits and evaluation of projects. The federal delivery partner normally serves as the federal co-chair of the project's Agreement Steering Committee. The federal delivery partner also ensures adherence to information management requirements, including the use of the Shared Information Management System for Infrastructure, which captures, monitors and reports on project information. The federal delivery partner also provides communication support.
- The funding recipient: The recipient may be a provincial, territorial, or local government, a private partner, a non-government organization, or a combination thereof. Once the project has been selected, Infrastructure Canada or Transport Canada leads the negotiations to develop a contribution agreement. The funding recipient is responsible for ensuring that the project is completed as per the Terms and Conditions of the Contribution Agreement.
||In order to provide funding for quality, cost-effective public infrastructure that meets the needs of Canadians, key planning highlights under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund include:
- Overseeing the implementation of project-specific agreements, in collaboration with partners as appropriate, ensuring that the terms of these agreements are respected and that claims are processed efficiently;
- Collaborating with partners to complete amendments to individual project funding agreements, allowing sufficient time for recipients to complete all projects; and
- Overseeing project completion and close-out while adhering to consistent monitoring and reviewing procedures.