Government of Canada’s $3.3B COVID-19 Resiliency Fund that Makes Investing in Cycling Easier

COVID-19 Resilience Stream

Today, the Government of Canada made important changes to funding programs that make it possible for your community to build more bicycle infrastructure, faster, for cheaper. 

Firstly, they announced the creation of the $3.3Billion COVID-19 Resilience Stream as part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). This time-limited stream is designed to support for specific types of infrastructure projects, including:

  • COVID-19 response infrastructure including measures to support physical distancing
  • Active transportation infrastructure, including parks, trails, foot bridges, bike lanes and multi-use paths
  • Support for children who need to safely attend school

All of the above point to the importance of connecting cycling infrastructure as fast as possible. This stream is available for up to 80% federal cost share, which will make it easier for cash-strapped municipalities to prioritize cycling. 

Indigenous & Territorial projects are eligible for 100% federal cost share and have an extra year to complete the projects to help address additional planning and construction time that may be required.

Eligible projects must:

  • Start construction by September 30, 2021
  • Complete construction by December 31, 2021 (2022 for Indigenous & Territories) 
  • Must be under $10 million

Secondly, the government has expanded project eligibility criteria within the current ICIP streams to allow greater flexibility in projects. 

These are:

  • Public Transit Stream: now allows standalone pathway and active transportation projects

  • Green Infrastructure Stream: now allows standalone pathways and AT projects. 

Projects applied for under the existing ICIP streams must begin construction by September 30, 2021. All projects are subject to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Bilateral Infrastructure Agreements. 

This is good news for cycling, walking, people who use mobility devices and all forms of sustainability,  in Canada.

What Can You DO?

If you are a municipal staff or elected official: jump on it! Adapt an existing plan or create something new! Cycling networks can be rolled out in as little as 10 days. Cities and communities all over Canada have a backlog of projects. 

If you are a citizen, share this opportunity far and wide. Make sure your community takes advantage of it. Write to your elected officials.

3. Join Vélo Canada Bikes as a member!  Municipal governments, businesses, non-profits and individuals are encouraged to join VCB so that we can have continued success, together.

We have has worked hard to ensure that active transportation figures prominently in any infrastructure response by the federal government.

Get going! Let’s capitalize on this moment and build amazing infrastructure. The Resiliency stream has very tight timelines and a lot of money on the table. It is time to ensure that local governments leave no stone unturned to and bring forward every “shovel ready” active transportation project they have. This is a crisis, and we can come through it stronger than ever.

Read more in this release from the Government of Canada:

https://www.canada.ca/en/office-infrastructure/news/2020/08/backgrounder-infrastructure-program-expands-to-support-covid-19-community-resilience.html