Ottawa pledges $4.1B for B.C. infrastructure, including transit
Ottawa has announced a new multibillion-dollar infrastructure deal with British Columbia, just a week after a report found the federal government was falling behind on the spending program.
Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi and B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevana signed an agreement Monday that will see $4.1 billion doled out over the next decade for transit, green infrastructure, recreation facilities, and projects in rural and northern communities across the province.
"Partnerships like this are going to have an immense effect on people's lives throughout the Lower Mainland and across the province," Trevana said. "It's going to mean better transit for everyone. It's going to mean that local infrastructure can be upgraded and work for people."
The federal government is investing in infrastructure because well-maintained and efficient infrastructure is the foundation of strong communities, Sohi said.
"We believe that this investment will help us achieve the vision we have for Canadian communities," he said, adding the projects will create jobs and support a green economy.
Commitment follows critical report
The new agreement between B.C. and Ottawa follows a report last week from parliamentary budget officer Jean-Denis Frechette's office, which found that only half of the money the Liberals earmarked for their infrastructure spending program had been allocated.
The report said 10,052 projects with a combined cost to federal coffers of $7.2 billion have been approved for funding across 32 departments, agencies and Crown corporations since 2016, when the Liberals unveiled the first phase of their infrastructure program.
An additional $7.2 billion had not yet been allotted.