Why Winnipeg’s largest infrastructure project could receive funding from the province, feds
Bowman noted the projects of highest priority recommended for cost-sharing are the two for wastewater treatment. (File image)
Published Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1:22PM CST
A new report recommends that Winnipeg’s largest infrastructure project -- the North End Water Pollution Control Centre -- receive funding from the federal and provincial governments.
The report, which will be considered by city council’s executive policy committee next week, says four major infrastructure projects in Winnipeg should be submitted for funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program -- a program that’s expected to make over $1 billion in federal contribution money available over 10 years to infrastructure projects in Manitoba.
In a news release Mayor Brian Bowman said moving the city forward in terms of its infrastructure deficit requires partnership with the other levels of government.
“What’s coming forward for review by Executive Policy Committee and ultimately Council is a prioritization of major infrastructure projects that require strong federal and provincial funding partners in order to get them built,” he said.
The city said the administrative report is recommending the following four capital projects, with a combined cost estimated at $994 million, be prioritized and submitted to the program:
- The North End Water Pollution Control Centre: Headworks facilities project;
- The North End Water Pollution Control Centre: Biosolids facilities project;
- The South Winnipeg Recreation Campus: Phase one of the recreation centre project;
- The St. James Civic Centre: Facility expansion project.
Bowman noted the projects of highest priority recommended for cost-sharing are the two for wastewater treatment. The combined cost of these projects alone is estimated at $909 million, which represents 91 per cent of the total cost of all four projects.
The mayor said the city is committed to improving the quality of water in rivers and lakes.
“However, Winnipeg residents and property taxpayers simply cannot be expected to incur costs of this magnitude on their own,” Bowman said.
The city said it’s expected the funds approved through the program would be cost-shared with the feds contributing 40 per cent of total eligible costs, the province contributing 33.33 per cent and the city contributing 26.67 per cent.
If Winnipeg’s infrastructure projects are approved by the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, they’ll be eligible for provincial and federal partnership funding of up to $643.4 million.
The city said its current infrastructure deficit is estimated at $6.9 billion, and within this deficit are 22 major capital projects that require $4.5 billion in funding.
Bowman said if these projects are approved by the executive policy committee and council and then accepted under the program, it would help the city meet provincial regulatory requirements for treatment and removal of harmful nutrients in Lake Winnipeg.
“Winnipeg’s population is growing, and so too are our infrastructure needs,” he said.
Last month the city submitted its combined sewer overflow master plan to the province. It’s expected this plan will be implemented over a number of decades at a capital cost estimated at $2.3 billion.