Building Ontario with Investments in Small, Rural and Northern Communities

Published on December 17, 2021

Province supports economic growth and job creation with additional funding for critical infrastructure in Waterloo Region


NEWS                                                                                                 December 17, 2021


WATERLOO REGION – The Ontario government is providing a total of $3,801,501 to help build and repair local infrastructure in the Townships of Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. This investment is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario by getting shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure projects that support economic recovery, growth and job creation.


“This investment is really great news for all the residents and businesses in the Townships of Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. “The funding will allow each township the financial stability to address their unique challenges in working towards economic recovery, renewing and building infrastructure, and creating jobs and opportunities for local communities.”


Today’s announcement is part of the government’s additional $1 billion investment to help build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure in small, rural and northern communities. The multi-year funding is being delivered through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) and will bring the government’s total investment to nearly $2 billion over the next five years.


“Our small, rural and northern communities will be at the forefront of our efforts to build Ontario for the future,” said Premier Doug Ford. “With this investment, we are saying ‘yes’ to helping these communities build and repair the vital infrastructure they need to keep their communities working for decades to come.”


Funding allocations will be based on a formula that recognizes the different needs and economic conditions of communities across the province. The new formula will include an increased funding minimum of $100,000 for all communities per year, up from $50,000 over previous years.


“Communities are the heartbeat of this province and we know they are facing unique infrastructure needs and challenges, especially as we navigate through the pandemic,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “Our government has been with them every step of the way. When we were told more funding supports were needed, we listened and acted in a meaningful way by providing the largest OCIF increase since the start of the program. By doing so, we’re providing stability and predictability to small, rural and northern communities to repair, upgrade, and modernize their critical infrastructure so that they are safer, healthier, and more reliable for all.”

The Province’s investment in OCIF is part of the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario. The plan lays out how the government will build Ontario’s future with shovels in the ground for highways, hospitals, long-term care, housing, and high-speed internet. To ensure all families, workers and businesses in the province have a better and brighter future, our government’s planned infrastructure investments over the next decade total more than $148 billion.

“This reliable stable funding has been what small municipalities have asked for and have needed. This funding will assist with enabling the Township to adequately maintain our road infrastructure.” – Mayor Joe Nowak, Township of Wellesley

“Wilmot has continued to advocate, alongside our rural peers, for Provincial commitments to stable, reliable and predictable infrastructure funding. This increased funding from the Province will bring further stability to our Asset Management Program, and enable Wilmot to fund our most critical projects, providing our residents, businesses, and visitors with safe and reliable services for years to come.”
– Mayor Les Armstrong, Township of Wilmot

“Woolwich is very thankful for the provincial investment into our roads, bridges water and wastewater infrastructure. With a larger geographical area and less population than urban areas, we need partnerships like this to allow us to address our ageing infrastructure while continuing to support our economy and our communities.”
– Mayor Sandy Shantz, Township of Woolwich


  • The OCIF supports local infrastructure projects for communities with populations under 100,000, along with all rural and northern communities.
  • For 2021, approximately $200 million in funding was allocated to 424 small, rural and northern communities. Municipalities may accumulate their funding for up to five years to address larger infrastructure projects.
  • Ontario also provides funding to communities through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a $30-billion, 10-year infrastructure program cost-shared between federal, provincial and municipal governments, and other partners. Ontario’s share per project will be up to $10.2 billion spread across five streams: Rural and Northern, Transit Infrastructure, Community, Culture and Recreation, Green and COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure.
  • The 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario is the government’s seventh financial update since the pandemic began, highlighting the government’s commitment to providing regular updates on Ontario’s finances, even during this uncertain economic period. It is part of the government’s plan for recovery driven by economic growth.