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

Surrey councillors say they’ve now seen policing transition plan

Locke and Hundial decline to share details of the plan, repeat calls for its release to residents

RCMP target speeders in White Rock, Surrey

Officers throughout the province launch Swoop campaign

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

OUR VIEW: Challenger Baseball program in Surrey hits a home run

Challenger provides disabled athletes an opportunity to play baseball in an inclusive setting

Final bout of Gypsy moth spraying in Surrey bumped up to Thursday, May 23

Again, they’re targeting 62 hectares area near Highway 1 and Port Mann Bridge from sunrise to 7:30 a.m.

Coquitlam RCMP release video in search for witness to crash that killed girl, 13

Witness is described as a slim Asian man with short, black hair, no facial hair and wearing glasses

TransLink fares to go up on July 1

Fares will increase by a few cents to a few dollars

Two week lock down lifted after drugs, cellphone seized at Kent Institution

A search at the prison found nearly 26 grams of hashish and a cellphone

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Most Read