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Deadline to secure funding for rapid transit looming: Katz

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Winnipeg Transit operates the Southwest Transitway but is considering private partners to help design and build the second phase of the busway.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Winnipeg Transit operates the Southwest Transitway but is considering private partners to help design and build the second phase of the busway. Photo Store

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz says the city and province have until Dec. 1 to complete a deal to fund the second phase of the Southwest Transitway.

The city and province must come to an agreement before the city forwards a request for federal funding to Ottawa, Katz told reporters following Wednesday morning’s executive policy committee.

Without the province’s support, Ottawa likely will not consider any request from Winnipeg to access money from the federal P3 Canada Fund, which is reserved for public-private partnerships.

Winnipeg Transit operates the Southwest Transitway but is considering private partners to help design and build the second phase of the busway. The first phase, which runs from Queen Elizabeth Way near The Forks to Jubilee Avenue near Pembina Highway, opened in 2012 at a cost of $138 million.

Katz has said it will cost as much as $350 million to build the second phase, which would cross Pembina Highway, run west along Parker Avenue and then south along a Manitoba Hydro corridor until it follows along the CN Letellier corridor to the vicinity of the University of Manitoba campus.

The city and province have been unable to reach a deal to fund this second phase for three years. The province wants all three levels of government to share the cost equally, but the city wants to access the P3 Canada Fund, which caps federal contributions at 25 per cent.

Katz has also balked at a provincial request for the city to borrow money on the province’s behalf.

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