The Manitoba Government has pledged an additional $500 million for infrastructure projects over the next two years to help restart the province’s economy in the wake of COVID-19.
Premier Brian Pallister said Thursday the money for the Manitoba Restart Program will come on top of already-planned infrastructure investments of $3 billion over the next two years.
“As Manitoba continues to flatten the COVID curve, we are now in a position to slowly and carefully begin to restart our economy,” said Pallister in a release.
“Our government is committed to working with industry, municipalities and all levels of government to help stimulate our economy as we move forward through this global health and financial pandemic.”
Pallister said the pot of money will be used for projects including water and sewer, road and highway resurfacing and repairs, bridge repairs, municipal infrastructure priorities, and possible cost-sharing construction projects with other levels of government.
“We believe that these projects are vital to the growth of our communities across our province,” said Pallister.
“Manitoba’s construction industry is ready to ramp up their work and we have many important shovel-worthy projects throughout the province to start that will improve the quality of life of all Manitobans.”
Pallister adds the earmarked money does not include contributions that may come through partnerships with from other levels of government.
He said he expects some specific projects will be announced in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile the Progressive Conservative government is also suspending funding this year to some environmental groups.
Pallister says money has to be redirected to health care at this time.
The Green Action Centre, a Winnipeg-based non-profit, says it is out $200,000 and will have a hard time maintaining its waste reduction program and other efforts.
On Wednesday, the premier announced Manitoba will match all money raised for post-secondary scholarships and bursaries through the COVID-19 pandemic.
–With files from The Canadian Press
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