Liberals hope funding change solves infrastructure spending, cost concerns

Under the Liberals, spending on infrastructure projects over the next 10 years has risen to $186 billion

Federal Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says an overhaul of how the government approves funding for projects should solve concerns about construction delays and escalating costs.

The government has been criticized for the slower-than-anticipated pace of infrastructure dollars leaving the federal treasury.

For the rest of the winter, federal officials will sign off on plans so money and work are ready to roll come spring, which Champagne says will finally align bureaucratic processes with Canada’s construction season.

The backroom change is one Champagne hopes will address public concerns that cities hold off work until they are sure the Liberals will chip in money, which also worsens cost overruns.

Under the Liberals, planned federal spending on new roads, bridges, highways, trains and water systems over the coming decade has risen to $186 billion.

As 2018 comes to a close, Champagne says there are some 4,400 projects worth $50 billion on the go, of which about $20 billion is from federal investments.

The Canadian Press

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