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Infrastructure funding a concern at caucus meeting

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

The Association of Manitoba Municipalities met in Portage la Prairie Tuesday afternoon. Caucus chair and Mayor of Brandon, Rick Chrest (left), Portage la Prairie Mayor Irvine Ferris (middle) and AMM director of advocacy and communications Denys Volkov (right) following Tuesday’s meeting at Stride Place.

The Association of Manitoba Municipalities met in Portage la Prairie Tuesday afternoon. Caucus chair and Mayor of Brandon, Rick Chrest (left), Portage la Prairie Mayor Irvine Ferris (middle) and AMM director of advocacy and communications Denys Volkov (right) following Tuesday’s meeting at Stride Place.

Much needed funding will help Manitoba battle its infrastructure deficit.

With $81 billion committed by the federal government over the next 11 years, funding models were a significant topic of discussion at Tuesday’s Association of Manitoba Municipalities’ Cities Caucus annual fall meeting at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.

“Manitoba will be entitled to a significant share of funds from the federal government and we want to ensure that this province gets every dime we’re entitled to,” says Rick Chrest, caucus chair and Mayor of Brandon. “Municipalities are pledged to be a part of that solution so that we’re ready with projects and ready with our share of the funds.”

Negotiations are currently underway between the feds and the province, and if it were up to the AMM, a 40/40/20 funding model will be introduced to best ensure projects aren’t stalled due to lack of funding. The aforementioned model dictates that both the federal and provincial governments cover 40 per cent while the municipalities will be on the hook for the remaining 20 per cent.

The money, made available via the Building Canada Fund, supports projects of national, regional and local significance that promote economic growth, job creation and productivity.

“Infrastructure is an incredible challenge so were looking clearly for partnerships with the other levels of governments so that we can achieve a better infrastructure for our citizens,” adds Chris Goertzen, AMM president.

Portage Mayor Irvine Ferris noted that the funds would help Portage combat the infrastructure deficit that communities nationwide are experiencing.

Individuals representing communities from Brandon, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Morden, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, Thompson, Winkler and Winnipeg were present at the AMM Cities Caucus – which  formed in 2013.



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