Carr asks business groups to help end ‘bickering,’ get infrastructure dollars flowing
Federal Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr delivered a welcomed message to members of the MHCA and other business associations at a March 1st breakfast.
Carr said there is a well of federal investment dollars sitting on the table, awaiting agreement and sign-off with Manitoba, including for core infrastructure projects. The “bickering” between levels of governments has to stop, the minister said, in the interests of all Manitobans.
It is crucial to get those funds flowing, through cost-shared agreements with the provincial government, and members of the business community should take up that cause, he urged.
“I can’t do this alone, and I am asking for your help. Contact your councillors, and especially your MLAs, to let them know you want the provincial government to approve shovel-ready projects now,” he told the crowd of some approximately 90 diners. The Carr breakfast was the first of four to be presented in the Breakfast with the Leaders series this year, hosted by MHCA and five partners – Merit Contractors Association, Manitoba Home Builders Association, Manitoba Trucking Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, and Winnipeg Construction Association.
Carr, the MP for Winnipeg South Centre, said the compressed construction season in Manitoba makes it doubly important to projects going, if they can get the signatures of other levels of government.
Reports of disputes over funding agreements between the province, Ottawa and the City of Winnipeg have peppered news reports in the past weeks. On the same day Carr spoke, Winnipeg released its proposed Capital and Operating Budget for 2019, which indicated that it is $40 million short of provincially committed dollars for the 2018 road renewal budget.
Carr noted that MHCA President Chris Lorenc has been doing a good job of reflecting the need for strategic, sustained infrastructure investment in his commentary in the media, especially on the Winnipeg Free Press editorial pages.
Conservative House Leader and Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen is the next political leader to speak in the breakfast series, on March 12. You can register here for this and future breakfasts.