Bridge request won’t bump transit grants: B.C.

Sohi confirms Ottawa may give more than a third towards infrastructure projects

Communities Minister Peter Fassbender says Metro Vancouver mayors shouldn’t worry that the province’s request for federal money to help build the new Massey Bridge will eat into the grants available for transit expansion.

The province has pitched the Massey Tunnel replacement as a green infrastructure project for the purposes of federal funding and one that will help with goods movement in the region.

Some mayors have expressed trepidation that they may be competing with the province for the $60 billion in new infrastructure grants Ottawa is to begin doling out.

“That is not being put on the table at the expense of the vision for Metro Vancouver,” Fassbender said of the Massey request. “We’re not saying ‘Give us money for this at the expense of that.'”

He said the provincial government has a responsibility to consider the needs of the whole province.

Fassbender appeared in Surrey Friday with federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, who announced a new round of federal gas tax transfers totalling $73 million for 57 projects across B.C.

Water and sewage system upgrades – such as $4.3 million for ultraviolet disinfection of wastewater in Abbotsford – dominated the list of grants.

Separately administered gas tax transfers for Metro Vancouver are destined for TransLink, mainly to replace buses.

Sohi confirmed the federal government is strongly considering a more generous federal contribution on the new infrastructure grants, deviating from the traditional formula of one third each from Ottawa, Victoria and the local government.

He said that could allow municipalities to pay less than one third of capital projects, in recognition of their strained finances and the fact that they end up shouldering the long-term costs of operating and maintaining new infrastructure, usually without much help from senior governments.

“We can’t change the formula for the existing funding under the Building Canada fund,” Sohi said.

“But we’re open to exploring the options of the federal government playing a greater role and providing more funding than the one third that has been traditional in the past.”

Sohi also reiterated the federal government’s intention to support Surrey’s light rail project with the transit portion of new infrastructure funds.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi.

Just Posted

Community invited to help with Downtown Surrey BIA’s fence art project

Association is hoping to change the ‘narrative’ for 135A Street with artwork

Surrey killer foiled by cops’ suspicion he was underage in a bar

Birinderjeet Singh Bhangu was shot dead outside the Comfort Inn and Suites Hotel on Fraser Highway

Bureaucracy leaves Whalley Legion members thirsty

Legion’s new location needs liquor licence, despite being down street from former digs

Blaine railway stop contingent on international support: All Aboard Washington

Non-profit organizers look to residents of Surrey, White Rock and North Whatcom County

Delta man charged after police surround Tsawwassen home

Troy Kevin Reimer, 52, is charged with one count of uttering or conveying a threat to cause death or bodily harm

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read