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Canada’s Historic First Federal Funding of Cycling Infrastructure

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Ottawa, Canada 

On 12th March 2021 Canada’s federal government announced C$400 million (A$416 million) in funding to be invested over five years to help build new and expanded networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges. 

The new $400-million fund is part of an eight-year, C$14.9 billion (A$15.5 billion) public transit investment announced on February 10, 2021.

An official press release stated, “Investing in active transportation will build strong communities across the country and deliver a better quality of life for all Canadians. Safe pathways and trails that connect to public transit will provide Canadians with more commuting options that reduce emissions and protect the environment. Together, we are building a cleaner, inclusive, and resilient country for generations to come.” 

Canada has set a target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. 

Prior to this announcement, funding for cycling infrastructure had only come from provincial and local governments. 

In addition to this new fund, Minister McKenna and Parliamentary Secretary Fillmore also launched stakeholder engagement for Canada’s first Active Transportation Strategy. The strategy will be informed by input from the public and key stakeholders including provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit organizations and businesses and will help the federal government make smarter investment decisions to: 

  • Support the active transportation networks of the future;  
  • Promote healthier, walkable communities that are environmentally sustainable and affordable; and 
  • Support better data collection to ensure measurable outcomes. 

For further comment upon this development and its relevance to Australia, please read our opinion article here

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