National Trade Corridor Fund backgrounder

The $2.3 billion National Trade Corridors Fund is one component of the $180 billion Investing in Canada Plan, the Government of Canada’s strategy for addressing long-term infrastructure needs in Canada and supporting middle-class growth and well-paying jobs. The quality of Canada’s transportation infrastructure and the efficiency of the country’s trade corridors is key to the success of Canadian firms in the global marketplace.

The Government of Canada is investing in well-functioning trade corridors to help Canadians compete in key global markets and trade more efficiently with international partners. It represents a long-term commitment by the Government of Canada to work with stakeholders on strategic infrastructure projects to address transportation bottlenecks, vulnerabilities and congestion along Canada’s trade corridors.

The National Trade Corridors Fund is also a key element of Transportation 2030, the Minister of Transport’s strategic plan for the future of transportation. The development of this vision, including the National Trade Corridors Fund, has been informed by extensive engagement with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, along with insights contained in the 2015 Canada Transportation Act Review report.

Merit Based Program

The National Trade Corridors Fund is a merit-based program designed to help infrastructure owners and users invest in the critical assets that support economic activity and the physical movement of goods and people in Canada.

A total of $2.3 billion over 11 years has been allocated for the National Trade Corridors Fund, including up to $800 million in dedicated funding for Northern territorial transportation infrastructure.

Provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous groups, not-for-profit and for-profit private-sector organizations, federal Crown Corporations, and Canadian Port Authorities were invited to submit proposals to Transport Canada, which were then evaluated against the eligibility criteria for the program.

Addressing Capacity Constraints

In July 2017, the first call for proposals was launched to address urgent capacity constraints and to improve supply chain performance. Transport Canada approved more than $800 million to fund 39 projects across Canada, including every province and territory.

Canada’s North

A Northern call for proposals was launched on November 19, 2018, which focusses specifically on targeting transportation-related infrastructure investments in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. This call, which closed March 29, 2019, and resulted in funding 11 projects and a federal funding commitment of more than $230 million to address unique transportation priorities in Canada’s territorial North.

Trade Diversification

A third call for proposals was launched on January 15, 2019, which focusses on diversifying Canada’s trade. The call will be open as long as there are funds available with no specific deadline to submit proposals. Transport Canada will evaluate projects on specific trade-related criteria that:

  • improve the fluidity and/or performance of the transportation system to contribute to an increase in the value and/or volume of goods exported from Canada to overseas markets; and/or
  • increase existing, or generate new, overseas trade as a result of the investment.

In addition to the above criteria, projects are assessed for the extent to which they will add capacity or address bottlenecks near major ports, airports, or along road and rail corridors in Canada that help generate or increase overseas trade.

In addition to the $2.3 billion of investments under the National Trade Corridors Fund, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will invest at least an additional $5 billion to address trade and transportation projects.