MONCTON, N.B.—The federal and New Brunswick governments have announced an agreement to spend more than $176 million on 51 infrastructure projects.
According to a release, the federal government will provide up to 50 per cent of the funding for projects through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.
Among the list of 51 approved projects are a new stormwater basin in Moncton, new buses for Miramichi’s public transit fleet, and upgrades to a wastewater treatment facility in Fredericton.
“We understand that New Brunswickers want their government to focus on the economy, education and health care,” said Premier Brian Gallant in a statement. “Investments like these help get things done in these priority areas.”
The funding is retroactive to April 1 so the projects can proceed without delay.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Nova Scotia earlier this week to announce a similar funding agreement for infrastructure projects in that province.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were among five provinces and two territories still awaiting infrastructure funding agreements with Ottawa at the start of the week. The agreements are a key step before any federal cash can flow to projects underway across the country.
Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut and Northwest Territories have yet to sign funding deals.
Federal officials had expected to have all the agreements signed before the midway point of the summer construction season, but it has taken larger provinces longer than first thought to finalize the list of projects eligible for federal cash and negotiate the fine print of the plan, including timelines for when projects need to be completed.
The Liberals had pledged during the election to increase infrastructure spending by $60 billion over the next 10 years. The first two years of the program have $6.6 billion for provinces and cities to spend on transit and water and wastewater systems.
The hope is that the infrastructure spending will help stimulate the economy, create employment—Statistics Canada reported the country had a net loss of 31,000 jobs in June—and pad government coffers with new tax revenue that will help bring the budget back to balance.