Canada spends on infrastructure to boost jobs, cut CO2 emissions

Ottawa (AFP) –


Canada announced billions of dollars in spending on infrastructure projects Thursday that will support a transition to a low-carbon economy during pandemic recovery and create 60,000 jobs over three years.

The government's nascent Canada Infrastructure Bank will oversee the spending, which totals Can$10 billion (US$7.5 billion) and is meant to fund electric buses, renewable power generation and building retrofits.

It is hoped the projects will also attract private investment.

"Families and businesses want to locate and build where they know infrastructure is modern, clean and resilient," Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna told a news conference.

"And Canada has an excellent opportunity to be the low-carbon economy that global investors beat a path to if we keep making smart choices right now," she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government last week said it would aim to beat its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Paris Agreement, Ottawa committed to slash CO2 emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The infrastructure money will also go to connect about 750,000 homes and small businesses to broadband in underserved communities and to irrigate 700,000 more acres (283,300 hectares) of land to allow Canadian farmers to produce more food.