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Our government is delivering on our commitments to invest strategically in infrastructure, and to ensure value for taxpayers’ dollars and strong returns on investments.
Over the past year, we have undertaken the most robust municipal infrastructure consultations that Manitoba has seen in decades. These consultations were part of our government’s commitment to give municipalities a fair say on how provincial funding is invested in their communities. What we heard is that water and wastewater infrastructure is critical to growth.
Our government agrees. That is why I was proud to announce an investment of $2 million in a new water treatment plant that will deliver long-term benefits in for the community of Birtle. The Prairie View Municipality will match this provincial funding.
This investment is part of the Manitoba Water Services Board (MWSB) mandate to assist municipalities outside of Winnipeg with the development of water and wastewater infrastructure. This mandate was expanded in our 2017 provincial budget, which added $2 million to the MWSB annual capital plan for a total of $18.8 million this year for new investments. In addition, our 2017 budget includes a record investment of $60 million for water-related infrastructure. This represents a 33 percent increase over last year for flood protection, drainage and other water control infrastructure.
These investments are ensuring that our government keeps its commitment to deliver no less than $1 billion in infrastructure investments annually. In fact, this year’s budget provides a total of $1.7 billion for infrastructure across the province. This is one of the largest infrastructure investments in Manitoba’s history.
Our government is determined to get value for the money we spend. This extends to funding for organizations, as well as municipalities across Manitoba. In some cases this has meant that grants were delayed while due diligence was being done to insure each and every project matched our government’s goals.
I am pleased to report that since our government was elected in April 2016, a total of over $21 million dollars of funding has flowed to the Riding Mountain constituency. This funding consists of $11,800,000 from the federal government and $9,300,000 from the province. Municipalities and organizations have chipped in $5,400,000 as part of cost sharing arrangements.
This funding has been used to support housing initiatives, water and wastewater projects, handi-transit in communities, sustainable development projects as well as Community Places grants to organizations for worthwhile projects across the constituency.
We were elected by Manitobans to fix the financial mess left by the previous NDP government, which had Manitoba on a path to a $1.7-billion deficit by 2019 if the structural deficit had been left unaddressed. However, our government also recognizes that we cannot jeopardize the services Manitobans depend on. That’s why we are committed to continue making strong investments in our communities and in strategic infrastructure across Manitoba.
Greg Nesbitt is the MLA for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, 1-844-877-7767 or by email at email@example.com.