Manitoba bolts $500M onto infrastructure spending plan to stimulate economy
May 7, 2020 by On-Site Staff
With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly behind it, Manitoba is shifting into recovery.
Premier Brian Pallister announced a $500 million increase to the province’s two-year infrastructure spending plan May 7.
“As Manitoba continues to flatten the COVID curve, we are now in a position to slowly and carefully begin to restart our economy,” Pallister said in a release. “Our government is committed to working with industry, municipalities and all levels of government to help stimulate our economy as we move forward through this global health and financial pandemic.”
Like other Canadian provinces outside Quebec and Ontario, Manitoba deemed construction an essential services and allowed work to continue throughout the pandemic. To date, the province has reported just under 300 of the country’s nearly 65,000 cases of COVID-19.
The half billion dollars in new funding builds on $3 billion in already-planned infrastructure spending over the next two years. The government has not yet identified any specific projects, but said the funds will go toward work such as road and bridge repairs, municipal infrastructure and water and sewage work.
The Winnipeg Construction Association welcomed the announcement, but hopes more will follow.
“We think it’s a great start,” the group’s president, Ron Hambley, said in a release. “This program can help our province begin to deal with the infrastructure deficit that currently exists in Manitoba, and our industry is ready and willing to do our part to lift the economy up after this pandemic passes.”
To make the best use of the stimulus, the WCA said the province should ensure the projects it backs vary in scope and region. It also advised the government to build a design backlog so a range of new projects will be shovel-ready for 2021.
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