Charlottetown wants $14 million from Ottawa for major projects

Dave Stewart & Teresa Wright
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The City of Charlottetown is waiting for about $14 million in federal money to proceed with some significant projects.

It's Build Canada Fund money, cash that municipalities across the country count on to help pay for pricey work.

In Charlottetown, that money is needed to buy new transit buses, finish off the storm sewer separation project, develop the new water source and turn one of the more confusing intersections in the capital area into a roundabout.

"Honestly, if the infrastructure funding is not available then these projects will not be completed,'' says Mayor Clifford Lee.

The money is coming, billions over 10 years. At least that's what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during last fall's election campaign.

The money will break down the cost of projects into thirds, with the three levels of government paying equal shares.

"I've had informal discussions with the local member of parliament about infrastructure. All indications are positive that they're going to be looking to spend money in this construction season and we will be ready for the partnership.''

Of course, timing is key. The longer it takes for the feds to soliciting applications the longer it takes to get them in, and the longer it takes to get tenders out.

"Honestly, if the infrastructure funding is not available then these projects will not be completed.'' Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee.

Even if the money flows, the 2016 construction season could be lost if things take too long to start rolling.

"The new water supply is not going to be something you can just announce on Friday afternoon and be in the ground the following Monday,'' Lee said. "There is a lot of preparatory work that needs to be done for some of these projects.''

The mayor said he understands the cheques won't be in the mail until after the federal budget.

"The sooner we know what projects will be funded and the sooner we get those approvals the sooner we can have engineers drawing up tender specification packages, get them out there and get them advertised so we can actually award a tender.''

There have been rumours that the next round of Build Canada Fund money will have the feds paying half and splitting the other half equally between municipalities and the provinces. That would mean Ottawa picks up another 17 per cent of the cost while dropping the provincial/municipal portion by eight per cent.

Lee said all anyone can do is sit and wait - and be ready.


Organizations: Build Canada Fund

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Mike Mouse
    February 16, 2016 - 17:53

    City wants $ 14 million, of course they do, but where is the new water system. We thought it was paid for and should be up and running by now. Last winter's heavy snow melt must have washed that idea away. We may not be that lucky this year.

  • Resident
    February 16, 2016 - 10:43

    Give yourselves another raise first. The Government knows all about PEI and mismanagement

  • Ralph
    February 16, 2016 - 08:23

    Surely the Mayor must find the money to proceed with his promised project of 'fixing' Queen Elizabeth Dr. in preparation for banning all tour busses and 'hippo' traffic during this coming summer. The Brighton snobs must not be denied, even if the money should by rights be spend on other streets that are impassably torn up by the winter traffic.

  • announce, delay, announce, delay
    February 16, 2016 - 07:24

    Nothing but grandstanding from this mayor, the Starbucks treet slayer. The traffic signal synchronization king. The ditch filling emperor. The model of municipal election finance transparency for the public. I wouldn't expect anything less than him pushing his responsibility onto another level of government. And he'll likely win another term in the next municipal election.

  • don
    February 16, 2016 - 06:19

    lee what jt said during the fall's election campaign. is just like the rest of the liberals all talk no action look at your buddy ghiz. and your #1 priority should be stopping of your crap into the water but i see you want buss's 1st. that tells me friends are 1st.

  • Sammy
    February 16, 2016 - 06:11

    Why would we buy new transit buses for a private owned company? I have a business in downtown Charlottetown that needs some new furniture and computers. Can I get in on this deal? Been mayor way too long. 2 terms max.