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Winnipeg mayor proposes shifting future federal transit funds to sewage plant project

Click to play video 'Winnipeg Mayor speaks on report to transfer over $300 million to sewer plant project' Winnipeg Mayor speaks on report to transfer over $300 million to sewer plant project
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman on Tuesday discussed a report that would see the transfer of approximately $320 million from the public transit infrastructure stream to the green infrastructure stream. He said if approved by council and the federal government, it would mean a prioritization of funding towards council’s “number one infrastructure priority,” the North End Sewage Treatment Plant.

Winnipeg’s mayor says he agrees with a provincial request to move federal money meant for transit to help finish the upgrades on a sewage plant.

In a statement released Tuesday, Mayor Brian Bowman said the city has been alone in paying for upgrades to the North End Sewage Treatment plant, which will cost about $1.8 billion when all is said and done.

A report that will go to EPC next week shows the province has asked that about two-thirds of federal money meant for future transit upgrades go to the sewage plant project instead, to prevent delays and keep the project on track.

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Read more: Winnipeg sewage plant receives $127M from provincial government for upgrades

That would mean $320 million would be transferred to the project, from the transit fund of about $523 million.

The move still needs approval from city council and the federal government.

“This would be a welcome prioritization of $589 million … toward City Council’s number one infrastructure priority, the North End Sewage Treatment Plant,” said Bowman in a statement.

The province recently committed to about $268 million in funding towards the project, according to the report.

“I am pleased to see the provincial government joining the City in taking steps to protect the future development of our city and the future of Lake Winnipeg.”

Read more: Winnipeg sewage plant receives $127M from provincial government for upgrades

One of the conditions for moving the funding is a commitment from the province to not request movements of the rest of the federal transit money to any other infrastructure project.

Reducing funding for transit will significantly impact Bowman’s plans to expand rapid transit in the city over the next decade, a priority he campaigned on while running in the last two civic elections for mayor.

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Mayor Bowman will be speaking to media Tuesday just after 1 p.m.

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