Infrastructure gets platform in provincial election campaign

Infrastructure gets platform in provincial election campaign

Mid-way through Manitoba’s election campaign, all three main political parties have made infrastructure announcements, at least in some measure.

Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont announced on August 25 that were his party elected to form government, infrastructure funding would be predictable and stable and the province would “be an active partner in growth for years to come.”

The Liberals promised

  • to work with municipalities, First Nations and stakeholders to create a 10-year strategic infrastructure plan to prioritize high-return-on-investment infrastructure projects
  • invest an average $1.6 billion annually for 10 years, for an economic return of almost $21 billion on strategic investments, including roads, bridges, trade connections, rail, tourism, urban development, sewage treatment and water assets
  • invest a minimum of $500 million annually to develop and maintain highways; create a long-range transportation planning framework for a regional transportation system

The Liberal announcement followed NDP Leader Wab Kinew’s promise August 21 to

  • invest $6.64 billion over four years on strategic infrastructure, including new and improved roads, bridges, schools and hospitals

Early in the campaign Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister pledged to

  • create a 10-year strategic capital plan, including a 14% increase to the highways program — from $350M to $400M — over the next four years, “with dedicated funds for infrastructure projects that enable private-sector job creation.”

MHCA President Chris Lorenc said while it is encouraging to hear parties focus on core infrastructure, the association still awaits responses to its survey sent to all three leaders at the start of the campaign, with questions specific to strategic investment approaches, to boost the provincial economy.

The MHCA encourages the merging of the Trade and Infrastructure cabinet portfolios, recognizing and focusing efforts on the inherent ties between the two, in boosting economic growth.

The NDP has responded; the PCs and Liberals are expected to do soon. The results will be published in the Heavy News.

Read more on the MHCA’s provincial election campaign focus here.

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