Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday January 30, 2019
Provinces not co-operating to get infrastructure projects underway: Trudeau
Unco-operative provincial governments have been making the effort to get more infrastructure dollars into Canada’s cities a challenge, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
Trudeau, whose government has struggled to fulfil tens of billions worth of infrastructure commitments, made the remarks in Ottawa before a meeting with more than a dozen of Canada’s big-city mayors. He didn’t single any provinces out by name.
His Liberal government has been criticized for how slowly federal money has moved for big civic construction projects, despite its big-ticket plan to spend more than $185 billion on them over 12 years.
“It’s not always easy — we understand that the political context varies a little bit from one end of this country to the other and there are provinces that don’t completely have the same attitude when it comes to tangible investments in their communities and in the big cities,” Trudeau said in French before switching to English.
“We’re having sometimes certain challenges with the provinces in various ways.”
Trudeau called big cities the economic engines of the whole country and argued that investing in infrastructure is one of the best ways to create jobs in the short term and growth over the long term.
Federal Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, who also met with the big city mayors Monday, said challenges have surfaced following several recent provincial elections.
Champagne, for whom speeding up the rollout of infrastructure investments is a top priority, said the arrival of new governments has slowed down some of the intake, review and approval of projects. He did note these delays are normal when there’s a change in government. (source: CTV)