Big repair jobs to help fix economy

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HIGHWAYS, housing and the halls of learning will see millions of dollars this year as the Doer government tries to keep Manitobans working.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/03/2009 (5065 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

HIGHWAYS, housing and the halls of learning will see millions of dollars this year as the Doer government tries to keep Manitobans working.

The province is spending $1.6 billion on infrastructure this year to fix highways, build new schools and overhaul some of Winnipeg’s uninhabitable Manitoba Housing units.

That’s more than double what was spent last year, and the new cash will employ the equivalent of 10,000 people for a year.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

But details were scarce.

Highways, which were to get a $400 million boost this year as part of a multi-year plan, will instead get $535 million. Already on tap this summer were the TransCanada twinning and improvements to Highway 75, a major trucking route that is notoriously rutted.

The same kind of multi-year plan used for highways spending will be used for the first time this year for schools funding.

Low-income and subsidized housing like the Gilbert Park and Lord Selkirk Park complexes will also get a $160 million facelift.

The city of Winnipeg, which has always begged the Doer government for more infrastructure cash, will get about $213 million, $10 million more than last year. But much of it is money the city was already banking on for 50-50 transit funding and new cash for ambulance service.

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz said city staff are still trying to figure out what the provincial budget means to the city’s bottom line.

The city was looking for $3.6 million in additional ambulance funding as well another $11.5 million.

About $135 million of the province’s infrastructure money is coming from Ottawa as part of an economic stimulus spending.

— Mary Agnes Welch, with files from Bartley Kives

 

Infrastructure: $1.6 billion

What it buys

Upgrades to highways and bridges, renovations to social housing like Lord Selkirk Park and Gilbert Park, capital projects at the University of Manitoba and other schools, construction of a cardiac sciences facility at St. Boniface General Hospital and a new 80-bed aboriginal personal care home.

What it means

A lot of the projects have been long-planned and oft-promised, but some are also being sped up to create jobs. The province is keeping many of the specifics under wraps for future announcements.

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