March 12, 2019

Municipal governments can now apply for projects under the Rural and Northern Fund, one of the four funding streams within the Canada-Ontario Infrastructure Bilateral Agreement.  

We are told that the Public Transit Fund is to open shortly.  The Community, Culture and Recreation Fund and the Green Fund will open later in 2019, a decision in response to feedback from municipal governments that opening all streams at once presents challenges to municipal administrations. AMO continues to talk to the province about timing of these other funding streams so that project funding approvals can be made in time for the 2019 calendar year.

The Rural and Northern Fund provides funding for municipal governments with less than 100,000 population. In response to feedback from municipal governments, funding focusses on roads and bridges, air and marine infrastructure. An application will need to speak to the critical health and safety and technical merit of a proposed project. Depending on demand, subsequent intakes may be open to other types of rural and northern infrastructure assets. The total 10 year funding commitment in this stream is $625 million from all three orders of government. The federal government will provide additional assistance to very small municipal governments (up to 60 percent) and the provincial share is 33 percent. Municipal share will be 17 percent or 7 percent for very small municipal governments (i.e. under 5,000 population).

AMO understands that the provincial and federal governments have taken steps to streamline the project application process. This is to improve review times to speed project approvals and will help save municipal staff time. The Grants Ontario website (click on Grant Opportunities) will be a “one-window” source for municipal applicants. It will handle application intake, review, nomination process, reporting and transfer payment management.

The Ministry of Infrastructure will be forwarding additional information to municipal governments less than 100,000 population. Please watch for it given the eight week intake timing. AMO had advised all municipal governments after the municipal election to start to prepare for the intakes.

AMO will keep members updated on the status of the other three funding streams.

For further information about the announcement, see the Ontario Newsroom website.

AMO Contact: Policy Centre, 416-971-9856 or toll-free 1-877-426-6527.