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Manitoba to seek federal funding for Winnipeg sewer plant upgrades, transit plan

Click to play video: 'Manitoba to seek federal funding for Winnipeg sewer plant upgrades, transit plan' Manitoba to seek federal funding for Winnipeg sewer plant upgrades, transit plan
The Manitoba government has agreed to help the City of Winnipeg forward funding applications to Ottawa for a pair of major city infrastructure projects.

The Manitoba government has agreed to help the City of Winnipeg forward funding applications to Ottawa for a pair of major city infrastructure projects.

The two levels of government are joining forces to apply for funding for both the second phase of the Transit Master Plan and upgrades to the North End Sewage Treatment plant through the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Read more: Winnipeg’s transit master plan gets the green light from council

Premier Heather Stefanson appeared with Mayor Brian Bowman at a press conference held at Winnipeg city hall Wednesday to announce the partnership, something Bowman noted wasn’t likely to have happened under former premier Brian Pallister’s leadership.

“This is a first — in my time in office — having a sitting premier visit city hall,” Bowman told reporters.

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Before Pallister resigned from office in September, Bowman told media the former premier had hadn’t reached out to him for 18-straight months, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is an exciting day,” Bowman said Wednesday.

Read more: COVID 19 recovery, health care main points in Manitoba throne speech

The announcement came just 24 hours after Stefanson promised to strengthen inter-government collaboration in her first speech from the throne on Tuesday.

“Manitobans rightly expect the leaders of the province and the largest community to stand together to solve problems and build a place for all of us to be proud of,” Stefanson said Wednesday.

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The Transit Master Plan’s second phase includes designing downtown bus corridors, replacing the North End garage and electrifying buses.

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The upgrades to the sewage treatment plant include new raw sewage pumps, plate screens and other equipment necessary to help the 70-year-old facility keep up with growing demand.

Read more: Winnipeg mayor optimistic deal to update sewage plant not far off

Both phases of the projects total in excess of $500 million.

The federal government still needs to review and approve the applications before any new funding will flow to the projects.

—  with files from Skylar Peters

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