Dividing line: Is Winnipeg’s infrastructure spending lopsided?
Discrepancy on spending on infrastructure projects in the north and south parts of Winnipeg has some city councillors up in arms.
Officials are looking at the city’s Chief Peguis Trail delay as just one example of the so-called lopsided government decisions.
Councillor Russ Wyatt said Tuesday he is sick of the city’s north being ignored while projects like the Waverly underpass and the Kenaston expansion receive unwavering government attention.
“You see more than two thirds of the city getting crumbs,” Wyatt said, “and one third or less getting all of the resources poured into it.”
Wyatt, who is the Transcona councillor, said by his estimates the city is spending 1.15 billion on the south and just over 500 million on the north.
“It’s lopsided,” Wyatt said. “The north gets the funding scraps.”
In 2015, a city wish list for federal funding said construction of the Waverley underpass, the widening of Marion Street, and the expansion of Kenaston Boulevard were three of the city’s top priorities.
The extension of Chief Peguis Trail was the only project in the north that was pointed to as an urgent matter.
However, not all councillors agree. Point Douglas’ Mike Pagtakhan chalks up the discrepancy to a prioritization tool that ranks pending infrastructure using a numbered system.
But, as the city waits to push forward priority projects like the Peguis Trail, for some councillors, the question remains on what should — and what will — take precedence.
“The leadership of council has come from the southwest, so that’s where the money is going,” said Wyatt.
“There’s something afoot behind closed doors.”
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