Manitoba premier Heather Stefanson provided more details on funding to a number of large-scale projects Friday morning at Winnipeg’s City Hall.
A funding package includes nine jointly-funded municipal water and wastewater projects in Manitoba — one of which is a previously-announced project for CentrePort Canada.
Eight water and wastewater projects are to receive about $100 million, while $40 million will go toward the expansion of CentrePort, North America’s largest tri-modal inland port.
“The expansion of CentrePort South is one of the most significant economic development projects Winnipeg has seen in decades,” Winnipeg mayor Scott Gillingham said.
“Adding servicing to this land unlocks the potential for thousands of new jobs, hundreds of millions in investment, expanded trade opportunities for Winnipeg industry and new housing to help serve our growing population.”
The city is adding in $20 million to help cover the cost of the CentrePort project.
Water and wastewater initiatives are also in the works for Portage la Prairie, Morden, Brandon, Winkler, Letellier, Powerview-Pine Falls, and the municipalities of Springfield and St. Francois-Xavier.
The government says it’s spending $150 million more than it forecasted in the previous budget to ease costs in the health-care system, for municipal projects and to offset inflation.
The money is part of an $850-million funding package approved by the Progressive Conservative government through a special warrant.
Other measures include more than $300 million earmarked for health-care initiatives; $120 million dollars for community and economic development and growth, and $50 million dollars to support Ukraine relief efforts.
Thursday’s announcement of cost-of-living relief cheques was also included in the province’s funding total.
Stefanson has hinted her government may end a freeze on municipal operating funding as part of the spring budget.
The Opposition NDP said the funding doesn’t make up for seven years of cuts made to Winnipeg and other communities while the Tories have been in government.
“Since they took office, the Progressive Conservative’s have frozen municipal funding, forcing communities to make cuts to services families rely on and starving them of resources they need to thrive,” Matt Wiebe, critic for municipal affairs, said Friday.
Stefanson said the province is also considering building on federal grants for transit funding for municipalities.
–With files from The Canadian Press
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