P.E.I. finance minister hopes to get details on infrastructure program

Teresa Wright
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FILE PHOTO: Finance Minister Allen Roach looks over some documents at the Coles Building, Charlottetown, while Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac looks on.

Finance Minister Allen Roach hoping to find out more details during a meeting of the country’s finance ministers in Ottawa.

P.E.I. Finance Minister Allen Roach says he is hoping to find out more details about how the federal government’s promised infrastructure money will being rolling out to the provinces during a meeting of the country’s finance ministers next week in Ottawa.

Roach says he is looking forward to a “new era of co-operation” with the change in federal government this fall.

He says he hopes the billions of dollars promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the election campaign for infrastructure will be geared toward initiatives that will help boost the province’s economy in the long-term.

The Island also hopes some flexibility to conditions placed on infrastructure funding programs can be negotiated to ensure P.E.I. can take full advantage of the dollars Ottawa has pledged.

“What I really want to look at is what kind of infrastructure improvements that we can look at that will suit our economy and really build our economy, make our economy move forward,” Roach said.

“Not necessarily bricks and mortar for the sake of bricks and mortar but infrastructure dollars that are going to help drive our economy here in Prince Edward Island.”

He suggested emerging sectors such as bioscience would benefit from infrastructure investments while also building future potential that could help improve the province’s economy and, in turn, reduce the province’s dependence on Ottawa.

But Roach says he will also be pushing for changes to the funding formulas attached to federal transfers.

Provincial officials have argued transfer payments to P.E.I. have been dwindling in recent years.

“We’d certainly like to recognize what each province has to bring, what the challenges are for each province, because let’s face it, they are different for each province,” he said.

“We’d simply like to see an adjustment in the formulary that’s going to be more favourable to Prince Edward Island, to the needs and to some of the struggles that we have here.”

During the meetings, Roach says he will also be supporting work on the Canadian Pension Plan to ensure Canadians are saving adequately for their retirements as well ensuring the Canada Child Benefit stays with low-income families who need it most.



Organizations: Canadian Pension Plan

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • jeremy
    December 21, 2015 - 07:44

    I hope that there are A LOT of controls by the federal government on the infrastructure money. I hope the majority of it is going toward green infrastructure (ie. the good kind such as solar and LED street lighting and sewer treatment, but not the bad kind like wind). The worst thing that can happen is to have the feds dump a pile of cash into the corrupt grubby hands of provincial politicians to do as they feel fit. Slush funds and Caribbean bank accounts will be set up faster than you can say P-N-P. Pay attention Wade.

  • SlyFox
    December 20, 2015 - 23:28

    My perspective of this article is Mr.Roach wants more tax dollars and does not want to be told how or where to spend them. Personally i would not trust this guy with my money.Simple as that.

  • Garth Staples
    December 20, 2015 - 13:59

    Watch for the smoke and mirrors and "mumbling"!

  • country boy
    December 20, 2015 - 09:12

    It would appear that the finance minister doesn't want to be told where the infrastructure money is to be spend. They will make it disappears in their books to cover up the mismanagement of the treasury...Trudeau won't care as he doesn't want to hold anyone accountable for the tax payers money.

  • traveler
    December 19, 2015 - 18:55

    @Islander "THEY" are no more honest than Roachi himself. They are liberals too, honesty escapes them, it is all about winning elections, everything else is phony- baloney----

  • Islander
    December 19, 2015 - 10:22

    Hope your memory is better than it was in the Legislation fall session. Tell them about our new egaming fiacso that failed, they nmay feel sorry for you. Don't think so. I do expect they would want someone with intigrity and honesty to talk with