Pallister Puts Northern Infrastructure Projects at Risk
NDP MLA Tom Lindsey, critic for Labour, Resource Development and Northern Affairs, is concerned that the Pallister government’s delays will put crucial municipal projects, like renovations for Snow Lake’s water and sewage system, at risk.
“As northern communities try to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that the Pallister government stop dragging their heels so that local projects, like the one in Snow Lake can be completed,” said Lindsey. “These projects do more than strengthen municipal infrastructure, they create good jobs for northern families and drive local economies. The Pallister government has chronically underspent on infrastructure in this province for years, and now they are refusing to help northern municipalities get the federal funding they need.”
Last week, officials in Snow Lake sent a letter to the Pallister government indicating that they are still waiting for the province to submit a funding application to the federal government for the second phase of a project to upgrade the town’s sewage system. The project requires provincial buy-in and must be submitted to the federal government for approval as part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).
According to officials, the province had promised to submit the application in January of 2020, but six months later no application appears to have been sent. In a Winnipeg Free Press article published last week, the federal government confirmed it had not received applications for any northern or rural projects from Manitoba. The Association of Manitoba Municipalities told the Free Press that the organization helped the province finalize 281 funding proposals from municipalities across the province in February, and were “perplexed” to hear the province had failed to submit them to the federal government for approval.
“We need to invest in the North now and northerners shouldn't have to wait,” added Lindsey.