Federal finance minister Bill Morneau started his day in Edmonton with some exercise, before hitting the streets with local MPs to promote the Liberal government’s recent initiatives as part of a cross-country tour.
While no major announcements were made on Wednesday, infrastructure funding and Alberta’s struggling economy were topics of conversation.
Many hoped to learn more about what sort of infrastructure funds Edmonton and Alberta can expect from Ottawa. Federal Infrastructure Minister and Edmonton Mill Woods MP Amarjeet Sohi, who joined Morneau at a photo op, said he is waiting for the province’s wish list.
“We are working very, very closely with the province and we have been ready since the early July,” Sohi said, adding that his provincial counterpart — Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason — has been working with Calgary, Edmonton and other cities to compile a list of projects they want funding for.
“Within the next couple of weeks we will be able to sign an agreement to get the money flowing all throughout the province. As well as going retroactively to April 2016 to support projects that are already underway,” he added. The agreement is expected in about two weeks.
Morneau was in town to “discuss economic growth and the Government’s commitment to strengthening the middle class.”
He went for a jog through the downtown core with his provincial counterpart, Alberta finance minister Joe Ceci, earlier this morning. They discussed a number of issues on that run: everything from climate change and environmental initiatives to Alberta’s struggling economy.
“Our goal is to have a really strong level of collaboration between the government of Canada and the government of Alberta, as we want to have across the country,” Morneau said. “Because we know in a country like Canada that’s the way we actually get to conclusions that will help Canadians.”
He then hit up a coffee shop at a local LRT station with Amarjeet Sohi, and Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault, who is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.