Published in The Lance on December 6, 2017
Manitoba Caucus meets with Mayor Brian Bowman to discuss priorities for the City of Winnipeg
Many neighbourhoods in Saint Boniface – Saint Vital have aging infrastructure which requires fixing. It’s a situation that exists in many communities across Canada.
Much of Winnipeg’s infrastructure was built in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. With an average lifespan of 40 to 50 years, our city’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair or replacement. We only need to remember the frozen water line crisis in the winter of 2013-2014 to understand the ramifications of an aging waste and sewage disposal system. Or, even more devastating, the millions of litres of diluted sewage every year that end up in our rivers due to heavy rainfall, snow melt or water main breaks.
That’s why our government created the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) as part of our ongoing commitment to renewing infrastructure across Canada. Through this fund, more than $94 million in federal funding is flowing into Manitoba to provide communities with more reliable water and wastewater systems.
In North St. Boniface, the CWWF is investing $2.4 million in water main upgrades, representing 50% of the total cost of the project. This federal funding will ensure that these much needed repairs get underway, with an expected finish by the end of March 2019. We believe it’s important to work with municipal governments, and this project is a great example of how federal and municipal governments can match their funding to maximize the positive impacts for our communities.
Clean water is a priority for all Canadians and one investment in Ontario is having an impact here in Winnipeg too. As you know, for more than 100 years, Shoal Lake 40 First Nation has been cut off from land due to the construction of the aqueduct that gives Winnipeg its drinking water. Since 1997, they have also been under a boil water advisory. Our clean water came at the expense of theirs. That’s why I am proud that our government is investing $20 million, half of the $40 million project cost, to build a road to Shoal Lake that will improve services to the community.
These are just a couple of ways our historic investments in infrastructure are having an impact, right here in Saint Boniface – Saint Vital – and across Canada.