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This article was published 11/2/2019 (248 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will touch down Tuesday in Winnipeg to unveil funding for the city's transit system, the Free Press has learned.
Ottawa and city hall have partnered to uncork more than $5 million in upgrades to Winnipeg Transit infrastructure. Unlike most federal cost-share projects, Tuesday's announcement will not include provincial money.
Trudeau and Mayor Brian Bowman will gather at the Fort Rouge-area Transit garage at 3:30 p.m. to make the announcement.
Sources not authorized to speak with media say Ottawa will earmark $2.5 million for Winnipeg Transit, while Bowman’s office has confirmed the city is advancing $2.8 million. The cash will largely go to bricks-and-mortar upgrades, such as the buildings that house buses and staff.
Trudeau is also expected to spend Tuesday morning at some local events with MPs.
While not unheard of, it’s rare for Ottawa to pledge money for projects directly with cities, instead of also partnering with the city’s province.
The Manitoba government led by Premier Brian Pallister has rejected calls by Liberal MPs to put up funds for some projects the city has requested, citing the province’s debt load.
The federal Liberals campaigned on a pledge to upgrade crumbling and outdated infrastructure across the country, but have seen projects they’ve sponsored become delayed by construction issues and funding disputes over cost-sharing.
Other projects that have been approved span years-long timelines, with initial construction and planning almost invisible to the average citizen.
Eight months before the federal vote, the Trudeau government is pushing to show tangible progress on the file and shore up the support in urban centres such as Winnipeg that helped it land a majority in 2015.
The Conservatives have honed in on Winnipeg as one of their targets for the October 2019 vote, in particular the outer suburbs. In recent visits, to the city Trudeau has spent time in those ridings.
City staff sent a memo Monday afternoon to all Transit employees inviting them to attend the funding announcement, with their supervisor’s permission.