No shortage in funding for municipal projects, say feds

Canada's Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons...

Canada's Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 24, 2014. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 7:30 PM ET

OTTAWA — Despite opposition concerns the Stephen Harper government is shortchanging municipal projects, the feds say they have $53 billion set aside in the Building Canada Fund — more than ever.

NDP infrastructure critic Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet accused the government in committee of not setting aside funds for municipal infrastructure projects, and for allowing for-profit companies to apply for chunks of that money.

Boutin-Sweet said that could squeeze legitimate municipal projects out of the competition for the funding.

"My question is: Is there money — a percentage set aside -- that municipalities are sure they're going to get?" she wondered to reporters outside the committee meeting.

But Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel says the rules to access the $53 billion set aside in the Building Canada Plan, which provides funding for city projects over the next decade, has always been clear.

Once projects are underway, municipalities can receive the funding, she said.


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