Infrastructure funds to flow after budget passed: minister
Money for infrastructure projects meant to stimulate the economy, which will likely focus on repairs and maintenance in the first phase of funding, will start flowing soon — but not before the budget is passed, the infrastructure minister said Thursday.
Amarjeet Sohi told the Toronto Region Board of Trade an initial two-year phase of spending will “lay the foundation” for the Liberal government’s 10-year infrastructure strategy.
The current economic situation makes the need for those investments “urgent,” Sohi said after his speech, but added there is a process the government needs to go through.
“Once the budget is finalized and passed ... then we will start getting money out to the communities as quickly as possible,” he said.
Sohi said his goal is to ensure investments can be made in the next construction season. The original Liberal plan was to divide $60 billion among public transit, green projects, and social infrastructure like affordable housing over 10 years, with just $17.4 billion earmarked to flow during the party’s first mandate.
Insiders have told The Canadian Press the Liberals are “actively” considering speeding up delivery of the new infrastructure spending. Sohi said he wants to heavily invest in repairs and deferred maintenance for the first two years of infrastructure spending, as those projects could help boost the economy this year.