* Originally published in The Lance on April 10, 2019 *
Building strong, healthy, vibrant communities is one of our government’s top priorities. We have made historic investments in infrastructure across the country to create stronger local communities.
From helping to reduce traffic, keeping our families safe, and addressing the challenges of climate change, our investments in infrastructure are setting communities up for success. We depend on our local infrastructure to get us to work, to provide recreation, and to move goods for businesses.
However, some provincial governments are trying to hold Canadians back from benefiting from local projects that are vital for our communities. Manitoba, for instance, has left over $1 billion in infrastructure funding on the table. This is critical funding for our province.
Our city can’t afford to wait anymore. That is why, through Budget 2019, our federal government is investing an additional $2.2 billion to make sure that infrastructure funding gets into the hands of the people willing and able to get projects done–our local and municipal governments.
For the City of Winnipeg, this represents an extra $37.5 million this year to help address many of the important infrastructure projects that are needed. Local roads and bridges, recreational and sport infrastructure, wastewater treatment, disaster mitigation, and brownfield redevelopment are all among eligible categories.
Winnipeg City Council will decide how best to invest these infrastructure dollars in our communities. I look forward to working collaboratively with local city councillors Brian Mayes (St. Vital), Matt Allard (St. Boniface) and Shawn Nason (Transcona, which includes Southland Park) to ensure that this funding will positively impact Saint Boniface – Saint Vital.
In addition to building our communities, investing in infrastructure makes financial sense. A 2015 study by the Broadbent Institute found that, over the short term, every dollar spent on infrastructure generates about one and a half times more for the economy. Over the long term, that figure increases to 2.5 times. In addition, the study found that infrastructure investments positively impacted business productivity and competitiveness in international markets, as well as increases in Canadian wages.
By partnering directly with municipalities across Canada, we are ensuring that they are able to make the strategic investments needed to keep our local economies working for all of us.