Infrastructure report outlines federal investment shortfall in Manitoba
July 14, 2017 - Another report of the Senate committee on infrastructure reiterates the chamber’s earlier call for a national infrastructure investment strategy, and also points out Manitoba falls short on making full use of the funding available to it under national programs.
The committee’s second interim report, released last week, reveals that as a measure of total and per capita contributions, Manitoba lags in the country when it comes to federal funding for infrastructure. Between April 1, 2016 and May 5, 2017, Manitoba had $226 million in “approved and underway” federal funding for infrastructure projects, ranking it ahead of just PEI, Nunavut, Yukon and NWT. Saskatchewan had $312 million in approved -and-underway projects in that time period.
In per-capita ranking, Manitoba was second last, just above Quebec, with its much larger population. The analysis for the Senate committee included infrastructure funding from across federal departments, for a total commitment of $13 billion, with just more than $5 billion of that in projects underway.
A report earlier this year noted that of Manitoba’s share of the New Building Canada Fund alone, some $500 million in federal cash remains on the table. If the province does not apply for and receive project approval under the fund by March 31, 2018, the Trudeau government has said it will distribute any remaining cash to the municipalities via the gas-tax fund.
“It’s good to have a clearer accounting from the Senate of how federal infrastructure dollars have flowed to Manitoba, against the take-up by other provinces,” said MHCA president Chris Lorenc. “And it’s clear that this province is lagging behind the investment seen in other jurisdictions. Manitoba has to step up, to start chipping away at the infrastructure investment deficit here.”
The City of Winnipeg announced last week it is asking the province to join in application to the New Building Canada Fund for some $182 million in federal funding, to flow over six years for the regional street renewal program.
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