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Canada Infrastructure Canada

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Report on the
Legislative Review of the
Canada Infrastructure Bank Act

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About the Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is a federal Crown corporation established to ensure Canadians benefit from modern and sustainable infrastructure through partnerships between governments and the private sector. It does this through its core functions of supporting (through advisory, research and data) and investing in infrastructure projects, and acting as a centre of expertise on infrastructure projects by providing evidence-based advice to all orders of government. The CIB's activities leverage the capital and expertise of the private sector to achieve public outcomes and value for taxpayers.

The CIB helps public dollars go further by investing in revenue-generating infrastructure projects in the public interest and through the ability to utilize innovative financing tools. Its goal is to realize more infrastructure built across the country to benefit Canadians. By design, the CIB collaborates with federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, Indigenous and private investor partners to transform the way infrastructure is planned, funded and delivered.

The CIB was provided with $35 billion in capital through the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act (CIB Act). As defined under the CIB Act, its statutory purpose was established as being to:

"invest, and seek to attract investment from private sector investors and institutional investors, in infrastructure projects in Canada or partly in Canada that will generate revenue and that will be in the public interest by, for example, supporting conditions that foster economic growth or by contributing to the sustainability of infrastructure in Canada."

The CIB is headquartered in Toronto, and has regional offices in Montreal and Calgary, enabling ongoing engagement with partners across the country.

As a Crown corporation that operates at arm's length from the Government, the CIB's Board is responsible for the organization's ongoing governance and supervision of its business operations, forward planning, strategic direction, and investment decisions, in line with the Government of Canada's priorities. The CIB also works with the Government to align on a strategic vision of the organization through the annual corporate planning process.

The CIB's initial focus for investments includes large, transformative projects such as regional transit plans, transportation networks (such as roads and bridges) and electricity grid interconnections in the public interest that benefit Canadians. In addition to these core infrastructure priorities, the Bank's authorities have evolved over time to align with Government priorities by investing in priority sectors. This guidance was provided through subsequent federal Budgets and Statements of Priorities and Accountabilities, in response to feedback from stakeholders, and a changing economic landscape. The CIB's priority sectors include:

  • Public Transit, including major transit projects, and zero-emission buses;
  • Green Infrastructure, including energy efficient building retrofits; water and wastewater; clean fuel and hydrogen production transportation and distribution;  carbon capture, utilization and storage; and zero-emission vehicle charging and refuelling infrastructure;
  • Trade and Transport, including trade corridors, bridges, passenger rail, and agriculture related infrastructure;
  • Broadband, including for unserved and underserved community broadband connectivity; and
  • Clean Power, including renewables, district energy, generation, storage, interties and transmission, and small modular reactors.

Within these priority sectors, the Bank also support investments in Indigenous infrastructure projects.

In Budget 2022, the Government provided the Bank with authorities to invest in private sector-led infrastructure projects that accelerate Canada's transition to a low-carbon economy, enabling the Bank to consider investments in: small modular reactors; hydrogen and clean fuel production; transportation and distribution; and carbon capture, utilization and storage.

Budget 2023 announced the Bank's investments in its Clean Power and Green Infrastructure priority areas will support the building of major clean electricity and clean growth infrastructure projects, and also announced the CIB will provide loans to Indigenous communities to support them in purchasing equity stakes in infrastructure projects in which the Bank is also investing.

Details of its investments and project partnerships are available on the CIB website.

The legislative review process

Under the CIB Act, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, as designated Minister, is required to undertake a review of the provisions and operations of the Act every five years and report to Parliament. The related provisions of the CIB Act are as follows:

  • Legislative Review
    27 (1) Every five years beginning on the day on which this Act comes into force, the designated Minister must have a review of the provisions and operation of this Act undertaken.
  • Report to Parliament
    27 (2)
     Within one year after the review is undertaken, the designated Minister must cause a copy of the report on the review to be laid before each House of Parliament.

As the CIB Act came into force in June 2017, work on the legislative review was initiated by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities in June 2022. This inaugural review was an opportunity to reflect on and examine the CIB's experience to date. More specifically, it assessed:

  • whether the policy premises and context that underpinned the creation of the CIB were still sound and pertinent;
  • whether the CIB's legislated mandate and authorities to support its operations remained relevant in the context of an evolving policy and infrastructure landscape; and
  • whether changes or clarifications were needed to position the CIB going forward.

A public engagement and outreach process was undertaken to inform this work which concluded on March 31, 2023. The final report of the legislative review was tabled in Parliament in June 2023.

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