June 22, 2016
NDP government must clarify any roadblocks to municipalities receiving federal infrastructure funding
The NDP government, like the government before it, appears to be missing out on much-needed federal funding by delaying approval for projects in Alberta’s municipalities, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
The New Building Canada Fund provides funding for projects to communities across Alberta, including small communities, designated as those with fewer than 100,000 residents. Although the funding is allocated to municipalities by the federal government following an application process, any projects must be approved by the provincial government before a project can begin. Reports have demonstrated this sign off is not happening.
“This government can’t boast of its infrastructure plan and then appear to be withholding the sign off needed to have infrastructure dollars flow to communities across the province,” Wildrose Shadow Infrastructure Minister Dave Schneider said. “When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Alberta in February, he announced a recycling of $700 million in infrastructure funds. To date, it isn’t apparent that this money is getting to communities.”
When asked in the Legislature during the spring session by Schneider if the NDP government would be willing to commit to “full transparency around what projects are being approved and what projects are being rejected under the Small Communities component of the Building Canada Fund”, Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason avoided the question.
“Albertans rely on the funding that comes through the Building Canada Fund to maintain roadways, sewage systems, major infrastructure projects, and more,” Schneider said. “We need a commitment from the NDP government to not delay Building Canada Fund projects by withholding their sign off, and a transparent process to provide an explanation if projects are denied.”