===== UofM Email Security Notice - SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE =====
The message below may be a potential threat. It may trick victims into clicking a link and downloading malware. Do not open suspicious links. If you do not know the sender or cannot verify the integrity of the message, please do not respond or click on links in the message. Depending on the security settings, clickable URLs may have been modified to provide additional security.
Please contact the Service Desk if you have any questions. (204) 474-8600
==== Original Email Body Follows ==== ------------ Suspicious threat disclaimer ends here ------------
Province asks city to redirect federal transit funding
THE Manitoba government is seeking to divert millions of federal dollars earmarked for Winnipeg Transit to support “green” projects around the province.
However, the move would require Winnipeg council approval, and Mayor Brian Bowman is not on board.
In September, city council did support a provincial request to transfer $321 million of future Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program funds from a public transit stream to a green infrastructure category. That change was meant to accommodate the federal share for the first two phases of a $1.8-billion North End sewage treatment plant upgrade.
Council’s vote included a “condition” the province seek no further reductions to Winnipeg’s remaining ICIP transit cash.
On Thursday, Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires confirmed the province is now asking the city to support a transfer of the remaining $204 million of potential federal transit funding to green projects around the province.
The $204 million could trigger about $534 million of total transit funding, should the money stay in place and all three governments agree to an ICIP deal.
Squires said the funds should be transferred because the federal government wants to allocate all ICIP funds by December 2021. The minister said Winnipeg would need to complete its transit master plan and an application for federal funding to access the transit funds.
Squires said she doesn’t expect that will happen prior to the end of next year.
“If the transit stream money isn’t allocated into green, it will go unutilized… It could be for any green project in the province, and it’s either going to be lapsed money or spent money on green projects,” she said, stressing the province does support public transit, in general.
“If there were a transit application in front of me, I would be giving serious consideration to that,” said Squires.
The minister confirmed a city council resolution is needed to support the additional transfer.
She did not confirm exactly which green projects the new funding transfer would support. The province said it could include more funding for the North End plant upgrade — if a request for its final phase is submitted and approved in time.
The province and feds are currently being asked to help the city pay for the first two phases of that upgrade. The work would clear the way for a third phase that reduces the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen in effluent released by the plant, nutrients that promote algae growth on Lake Winnipeg.
On Thursday, Bowman said he wouldn’t support another transfer of transit cash, however, especially if it involves shifting money earmarked for Winnipeg to other municipalities.
“We don’t want to see that money stolen and used elsewhere outside the city of Winnipeg. It is earmarked for Winnipeg Transit. Transit is incredibly important to Winnipeggers and the future of our city,” said Bowman.
In contrast to Squires’ timeline, the mayor said he expects a Transit master plan will be completed in about three months.
“We want to make sure that there are dollars to implement and actually support the Transit master plan as soon as possible, once that’s done,” he said.
email@example.com Twitter: @joyanne_pursaga