$82 million to flow to rural and northern Manitoba

“It goes a long way and it’s good to see this money is going out to rural and northern Manitoba.”

– Association of Manitoba Municipalities President Doug Dobrowolski

Smaller communities and cities in Manitoba are getting $82 million this year to help repair water and sewer systems, roads and bridges and recreational facilities.

Recently Federal Treasury Board president Vic Toews and provincial Infrastructure Minister Ron Lemieux announced the funding which will be made available to Manitoba through the communities component of the Building Canada infrastructure plan.

The cash is specifically aimed at the infrastructure needs of towns and cities under 100,000 people. With matched funding (another $41 million) from municipalities, that will mean $123 million in new dollars to help repair aging infrastructure in 17 categories including water treatment and waste management, connectivity, local roads, short line railways.

Toews said this targeted funding ensures smaller communities get fair access to infrastructure funding from federal and provincial sources. Major projects in large urban centres can overshadow the needs of smaller centres.

Lemieux said this will promote economic development in communities. “I encourage communities to take advantage of this funding and look forward to the positive additions it will bring to many Manitobans,” he stated in a news release.

Association of Manitoba Municipalities’ president Doug Dobrowolski welcomed the announcement saying the boost in infrastructure funding is good news. “Prior programs have only been about $20 million so this is really good,” he said.

“It goes a long way and it’s good to see this money is going out to rural and northern Manitoba.”

Water and sewer upgrades are likely to be priority projects, he said, adding that AMM anticipates there will be a huge volume of applications for this cash.

“This will only highlight the real need that is out there.”

Municipalities have until February 23, 2009 to apply for this funding.

Building Canada is a seven-year (2007-14) federal/provincial program aimed at providing flexible funding to Canadian municipalities.

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About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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