Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Chatham-Kent seeking infrastructure funding boost

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Sudbury is joining with Chatham-Kent and Thunder Bay looking for a big funding boost from the province to pay for infrastructure construction projects.

A report entitled “Supporting Equitable OCIF Funding for Single-Tier Municipalities” from Kevin Fowke, Sudbury’s general manager of corporate services was presented at the finance and administration committee meeting on May 17.

“We have so much here in infrastructure that we need to pay for, so I look forward to seeing updates on how well we are doing on this because it is certainly unfair,” councillor McIntosh said, as council directed staff to push for additional funding from the next premier and infrastructure minister.

Chatham-Kent and the City of Thunder Bay are also calling the cap unfair and are seeking increases. A joint letter from the municipalities will be sent following the June 2 election to the premier, minister of finance, minister of infrastructure, minister of municipal affairs and housing, alongside local MPPs.

The Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund is a provincial program that provides small, rural and northern municipalities with annual funding to be used towards building and repairing roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure.

In 2022, only three municipalities were capped at $10 million – Greater Sudbury and Chatham-Kent are amalgamated municipalities and all three are single-tier municipalities with large rural urban areas.

Lifting the cap “would allocate funds appropriately and better allow the City of Greater Sudbury to maintain our large infrastructure portfolio and continue to build and sustain our increasing economic development demands,” Fowke said in his report to council.

The total amount distributed to the 424 communities increased from $200 million to $400 million in 2022. Given this increase, the City of Sudbury could potentially receive up to $18.6 million if the cap were to be lifted.


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