Hamilton Kent Blog

2017 Budget Update: The year that infrastructure Trumps all

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Both Canada and the United States have seen a truly incredible amount of change over the past 12 months.

While we wait for both countries to release an official budget, here’s what to expect for infrastructure funding over the following year.

Canadian infrastructure promises

We’re still awaiting the Canadian budget for 2017, which might be slated to be released in early March.

The 2016 budget was updated in early November to bring the total investment in infrastructure up to $186 billion over 11 years. This is a change from last Spring’s designated $120 billion over 10 years. The budget includes newly delegated money by Trudeau’s liberal government, and continues to use funding from from the previous Conservative government’s New Building Canada Plan.

The November budget changes mean a $25 billion deficit for 2016-2017, bringing the projected total between 2016 and 2022 to approximately $130 billion in deficits.

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB)

While we wait for the Canadian budget to come out, we’ve still got our eyes set on the latest CIB announcements.

On February 10, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Jim Leech as Special Advisor on the CIB.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said that $35 billion will be put into the bank to encourage foreign investments, with $20 billion coming from private sources and $15 billion coming out of the budget.

Leech will be working with Morneau and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi, among others, to implement the bank.

Updates on Canadian projects

We like following up on what projects are important to Canadians, and which ones are moving forward. Check out this list of the top 100 infrastructure projects in the works across Canada at

You can also look at water infrastructure projects across the country that are being funded by Public-Private Partnerships (P3) under the New Building Canada Plan at

What does the future hold for America?

Newly elected President Donald Trump has pledged to spend $1 trillion on upgrading and modernizing roads, ports bridges, public transportation and other transit systems across the country. Though no official budget proposal has been released as of yet, here’s a breakdown of what that looks like so far.

The plan to modernize infrastructure

More than two-thirds of the country think that it’s very important for Trump to invest in infrastructure, according to this poll.

Trump has promised to release a more detailed outline of his infrastructure initiative during the first 100 days of his administration. Among these details is a recent list of $137 billion-worth of infrastructure projects all requiring private financing. There are a total of 50 projects.

What will funding look like?

A big part of President Trump’s platform was the American Energy and Infrastructure Act, which will put $1 trillion of funding into infrastructure over the span of 10 years. The plan, however, is to remain deficit-neutral. Instead of depending on loans, the government will encourage public-private partnerships with infrastructure tax-credits, and keep projects on track with incentive-based contracting.

A 10-page whitepaper released in the fall offers $137 billion in federal tax credits to private investments in transportation. Some critics have noted that investors may only want to fund projects with user fees, while other critical infrastructure projects may not gain attention.

According to a poll taken in January, 66 percent of Americans currently oppose the Public-Private Partnership plan.

In fact, tax-cutting and infrastructure plans could add an estimated debt that Trump has inherited over the next 10 years.

The executive order for the wall

There’s a big Republican elephant in the room, and that’s Trump’s border wall. Divisive as it can be to those among us, one thing seems likely—the wall using precast concrete elements. If it does come to fruition, it will be a boon to those working in the construction industry, as it has been before, according to this article by the New York Times.

Trump signed the executive order to start building the 1000-mile-long wall on January 25, and we will be following along for more updates on how this will positively impact the infrastructure industry.

Changes to the EPA

During the first week of his administration, Trump enacted a freeze on EPA funding which only lasted a few days due to concerns brought up by state regulators. An internal review of $3.8 billion in funds by the senate has been completed, while $100 million in grants and contracts are still under review.

Meanwhile, the EPA has announced that it will give around $1 billion in long-term, low-cost credit assistance to eligible borrows—with initial funding coming from the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).

Stay tuned with Hamilton Kent on the latest water infrastructure projects to come over the next year.