Building Ontario with Investments in Critical Infrastructure for Small, Rural and Northern Communities

Building Ontario with Investments in Critical Infrastructure for Small, Rural and Northern Communities

Province supports economic growth and job creation with additional funding for roads, bridges, water and wastewater projects

December 08, 2021

Office of the Premier

PETERBOROUGH — The Ontario government is providing an additional $1 billion over the next five years to help build and repair local roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure in small, rural and northern communities. This investment is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario by getting shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure projects that support economic recovery, growth and job creation.

“Our small, rural and northern communities will be at the forefront of our efforts to build Ontario for the future,” said Premier Doug Ford. “With this investment, we are saying ‘yes’ to helping these communities build and repair the vital infrastructure they need to keep their communities working for decades to come.”

The multi-year funding is being delivered through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) and will bring the government’s total investment to nearly $2 billion over the next five years. Funding allocations will be based on a formula that recognizes the different needs and economic conditions of communities across the province. Starting in 2022, the formula will include an increased funding minimum of $100,000 for all communities per year, up from $50,000 over previous years.

“Communities are the heartbeat of this province and we know they are facing unique infrastructure needs and challenges, especially as we navigate through the pandemic,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “Our government has been with them every step of the way. When we were told more funding supports were needed, we listened and acted in a meaningful way by providing the largest OCIF increase since the start of the program. By doing so, we’re providing stability and predictability to small, rural and northern communities as they repair, upgrade, and modernize their critical infrastructure so that they are safer, healthier and more reliable for all.”

“Our government is building a strong, stable foundation that workers, entrepreneurs, and families will build on for generations to come,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “By nearly doubling our investment in the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, our government is supporting public safety, job creation and economic growth.”

The Province’s investment in OCIF is part of the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build OntarioThe plan lays out how the government will build Ontario’s future with shovels in the ground for highways, hospitals, long-term care, housing and high-speed internet. To ensure all families, workers and businesses in the province have a better and brighter future, our government’s planned infrastructure investments over the next decade total more than $148 billion.

Quick Facts

  • The OCIF supports local infrastructure projects for communities with populations under 100,000, along with all rural and northern communities.
  • For 2021, approximately $200 million in funding was allocated to 424 small, rural and northern communities. Municipalities may accumulate their funding for up to five years to address larger infrastructure projects.
  • Ontario also provides funding to communities through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a $30-billion, 10-year infrastructure program cost-shared between federal, provincial and municipal governments and other partners. Ontario’s share will be up to $10.2 billion spread across five streams: Rural and Northern, Transit, Community, Culture and Recreation, Green and COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure.
  • The 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario is the government’s seventh financial update since the pandemic began, highlighting the government’s commitment to providing regular updates on Ontario’s finances, even during this uncertain economic period. It is part of the government’s plan for recovery driven by economic growth.


“Nearly doubling the government’s annual investment in the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund is great news for our communities. This investment will provide additional certainty for our small and rural communities so that they can address local infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and water and wastewater infrastructure. Our government continues to build the foundation for recovery and prosperity by getting shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure projects in communities across the province.”

– David Piccini
MPP, Northumberland-Peterborough South

“The increase to the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund envelope proves once again how much this provincial government values the need for infrastructure dollars at the municipal level to support the funding deficit identified in municipal asset management plans. Without these funds, the full burden of infrastructure replacement would be placed on municipal budgets, but this partnership will lessen that burden and allow for rural municipalities to sustain an optimal level of service for their residents.”

– Rodger Bonneau
Mayor, Township of Asphodel-Norwood

“The redesign of the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund to increase the funding allocation over a five-year period answers the call from municipalities for the Province to provide a sustainable and predictable funding stream to address the burden of asset replacement and the emergent need of broadband in rural Ontario. This funding commitment will allow municipalities to prioritize the criticality of these issues in a consistent, timely manner. We are appreciative to the Province for listening to our concerns and putting an action plan in place that will benefit all Ontarians.”

– Candice White
CAO/Clerk/Treasurer, Township of Asphodel-Norwood

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