April 23, 2019 2:19 pm

Feds asking Quebec, New Brunswick to send proposals to get money for flood help

Members of the Naval Reserve patrol the Rigaud River next to homes surrounded by floodwaters in the town of Rigaud, Que, west of Montreal, Monday, April 22, 2019.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Federal Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne says he is willing to fast-track reviews of projects that could help communities deal with floods as part of an offer to provinces and cities.

READ MORE: More than 3,100 homes flooded across Quebec

Champagne says he first needs the provincial government in Quebec and municipalities to send in proposals for an infrastructure program that he worries few know about.

WATCH: Île Mercier family fights to save home from floodwaters

The program set up two years ago will dole out about $2 billion over a decade, hoping to help communities like those now facing flooding in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick mitigate, prevent or adapt to the risks of high water.

READ MORE: Quebec flooding — How to help, where to donate

So far, the government has committed almost $792.7 million for 18 projects, all aimed at dealing with flooding, although none are in Quebec or New Brunswick.

WATCH: 8 major floods across Quebec

In a telephone interview, Champagne says there is a sense of urgency to approve more projects that can be done this construction season.

READ MORE: Quebec spring flooding forces hundreds of evacuations

Champagne isn’t speculating about why some provinces or cities haven’t applied for funding, saying instead that he wants to make sure everyone who could use the funding is aware it exists.

WATCH: Quebec premier tours flood zone in Laval

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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