Speaking Notes for
The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
On behalf of
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Announcement — Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program
2 Des Jardins Street
May 23, 2012
Check against delivery
Hello. And thank you all for coming.
It’s a pleasure to be here today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. I’m especially pleased to be joining André Drolet, Member of the National Assembly for Jean-Lesage and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and to the Minister of Tourism, and François Picard, Councillor and Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the City of Québec, for this important announcement. This is a great opportunity to talk about how our government continues to take steps to strengthen Canada’s economy, create jobs and build strong communities.
Our government is very proud of what the Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program has achieved all across the country. In total, CMHC approved 272 loans for the full $2 billion available under this program.
And it gives me great pleasure to announce today that 70 of those loans were made to 23 municipalities across the province of Quebec. With a total value of more than $1.2 billion, these loans have been used to upgrade various types of municipal infrastructure across the province.
Our government’s top priorities are job creation and economic growth, and we understand the importance of infrastructure in supporting local jobs and maintaining strong and prosperous communities. That’s why we are helping Quebec municipalities and others across Canada make smart, targeted investments that improve sustainability and prepare communities for future growth.
The Canadian economic recovery is under way, and it is reflecting the extraordinary successes of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. In March, we introduced Economic Action Plan 2012, our government’s plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. It sets out a comprehensive plan to bolster Canada’s long-term economic strengths and respond to the social and economic needs of regions across Canada.
As you will recall, the stimulus phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan included the Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program — one of the extraordinary measures I just referred to. Delivered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation through Financement-Québec, this program made direct, low-cost loans available to municipalities across the country for housing-related infrastructure projects, such as sewer and water systems, solid waste services, power generation projects, fire halls, residential roads and sidewalks, lighting, pathways and residential green spaces.
Our government developed this program because municipal leaders told us they would benefit from access to low-cost financing to support these types of projects. Not only do these loans make infrastructure projects affordable, but as I’m sure MNA Drolet and Councillor François Picard would agree, they have the added benefit of freeing up money for other important uses at the community level.
Of course, our government is not doing it alone. I want to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the Province of Quebec for contributing to these important infrastructure projects.
We look forward to continuing to work with our partners. Together, we can continue to build a strong economy and support Canadian families and communities.