OSPE meets with Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) Representatives

Last month, OSPE’s CEO, Sandro Perruzza, had the opportunity to moderate a discussion with senior representatives from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) regarding their current programs and initiatives.

The CIB was established in 2017 with the purpose to invest $35 billion of federal funding in revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are both in the public interest and that attract private capital. The CIB is a catalyst for private investment in projects that support economic growth for the benefit of Canadians. These projects reflect the federal government’s core sectors for investment – green infrastructure, clean power, public transit, trade and transportation and enhanced broadband infrastructure.

The CIB announced its Growth Plan in October 2020, which plans to invest in the following core infrastructure areas:

  • $2.5 Billion for Clean Power 
  • $1.5 Billion for Agriculture Infrastructure 
  • $2 Billion for Broadband 
  • $1.5 Billion for Zero-Emission Buses
  • $2 Billion for Energy Efficient Building Retrofits 
  • $500 Million for Project Acceleration

OSPE took this opportunity to discuss the initiatives under the Growth Plan, as well as other work the CIB is undertaking, that will ensure infrastructure and engineering work gets properly built in Ontario and across Canada.

The Growth Plan is focused on investing in transit for cleaner commutes including zero-emission buses, clean power, green infrastructure with focus on energy efficiency building retrofits, digital connectivity to significantly increase broadband access, and agriculture-related infrastructure in the context of trade and transportation expansion. As well, the Growth Plan includes the potential to accelerate project development and early works on projects.

The CIB has investment targets for each of the priority sectors, and also has a target to invest $1B towards the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII) across these sectors, as outlined in its Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities (SPA). The $10B, three year Growth Plan seeks to strengthen Canada’s economic growth and accelerate Canada’s transition to the low carbon economy.

OSPE is glad to see that the federal government is making it a priority to ensure that the CIB and the private sector work together to ensure that these projects are delivered to Canadians. These infrastructure projects will keep creating good paying jobs for engineers in Ontario, while fulfilling the commitment of sustainability laid out by the federal government and the CIB’s mission.

The CIB is also constantly working on helping businesses and consumers retrofit their buildings and homes, through their Commercial Building Retrofits Initiative and Public Retrofits Initiative.

Commercial Building Retrofits Initiative

Currently, in Canada, energy use in buildings is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Energy-efficient buildings can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and owner operating expenses, contributing to Canada’s transition to a low-carbon future.

CIB works with private and public sector real estate owners to modernize and improve the energy efficiency of their existing buildings. CIB’s current $2 billion program will help to finance capital costs of retrofits, using savings from efficiencies and operating cost savings for repayment.

This initiative provides attractive financing, reduces investment barriers and drives carbon savings.

Public Retrofits Initiative

Through this initiative the CIB aims to work with the public sector to review their asset portfolios from a holistic perspective to develop bundles of energy retrofit projects. This will allow the CIB to support the public sector in achieving their ambitious portfolio-scale GHG reduction goals highlighted in their climate action programs.

We were especially pleased with the openness and willingness of the CIB to meet with any prospective private sector firm, including engineering firms, to see whether their project meets the funding requirements for these programs (both in scope of outcomes and minimum funding requirements). OSPE appreciated the spirit of cooperation and collaboration the CIB representatives presented, as they also indicated that if the proposed project didn’t meet their program requirements, they would also investigate whether there are other funding programs with other institutions/agencies that may be a better fit, and would provide an introduction to these alternative program administrators.

OSPE will continue to meet with government and different stakeholders to try and ensure the necessary incentives and programs are in place so more and more engineering jobs are created in Ontario.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the CIB and their programs, please let us know at advocacy@ospe.on.ca, or comment down below!

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