Ottawa (CP) - Tuesday's federal budget will include funding for public transit in major cities, including help with a $1.01 billion boost for the Toronto transit system, The Canadian Press has learned.
In addition, money from a $1-billion rural infrastructure program will be spent over five years rather than a decade, allowing projects in smaller communities to be announced within weeks.
Ottawa will contribute $350 million over five years for the Toronto Transit Commission, with the municipal and provincial governments providing equal amounts, sources say. There will be money for light rail in Ottawa and the RAV rail line to the Vancouver International Airport.
The money will be disbursed over 10 years but Tuesday's budget will commit federal officials to informing towns and cities across the country almost immediately what their share will be. That will let smaller cities and towns begin planning on what are usually long-term projects.
This funding for crumbling roads, transit, water and sewer systems is being seen as a down payment on Prime Minister Paul Martin's promised new deal for cities.
Canada has until now been the only G-7 country whose national government doesn't subsidize municipal transport.
Tuesday's budget, the first for Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, is expected to be marked by down payments on several long-term projects rather than a lot of immediate spending.