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Tory MP blasts Winnipeg city council over funding failure

WINNIPEG – St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover suggests there’s a mountain of federal cash available for Winnipeg infrastructure work, but city council is taking its time asking for it.

“We just can’t seem to get past the finish line with the city of Winnipeg,” said Glover. “We’ve been urging them over and over again to get this done and I want to help them but I cant fill it out for them, complete their application for them.”

She says the $467 million Building Canada Fund was announced two years ago.

The city had come up with a list of projects for the Building Canada Fund including extending Chief Peguis Trail, an underpass at Waverley and Taylor, one at Marion and Archibald and adding lanes along Kenaston Boulevard.

“They all have to happen and the question is the timing and what are the priorities,” said Brian Bowman.

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The mayor says a Building Canada Fund application for those projects was submitted however it was not complete.

“When I saw the actual submissions they were woefully inadequate,” he said, adding they were missing key financial information.

Two other projects, replacing the Louise Bridge and extending the William Clement Parkway, were identified as key projects however they are not a part of the initial Building Canada application.

Glover says Ottawa needs a priority list for the projects before any funding can be handed out. She says so far 29 projects have been approved in Manitoba however none are within city limits.

“I called every city councillor I knew would try to help. I called (St. Boniface councillor) Matt Allard, he’s claiming he approached me? That’s hogwash. I have been pushing this since 2013. I don’t care what project it is. City of Winnipeg deserves better. We need a completed application from the city of Winnipeg,” Glover told 680 CJOB.

St. Boniface city councillor Matt Allard sent this picture of himself posing with St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover during discussions about infrastructure in December, 2014. Matt Allard

In an exchange of messages with Global News later Friday, Allard responded to Glover’s remarks.

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“MP Glover has a different interpretation of the facts. We need our local MP to commit project to move it forward,” Allard said. He also forwarded a website link from December 15, 2014 showing a picture of Allard posing with Glover, with the caption “Pleased to meet with MP Shelly Glover Friday to discuss the New Building Canada Fund and the Marion and Archibald street upgrades.”

The war of words between Glover and Allard has a deeper political context: Allard was an aide to former St. Boniface councillor Dan Vandal, who is running as a federal Liberal candidate against Glover in St. Boniface in the next federal election.

The mayor says city council is set to debate the projects and which ones should take priority on Wednesday. Bowman hopes to have a prioritized list ready to send to Ottawa shortly after.

With files from 680 CJOB.

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