A federal Conservative government would commit to building a $1.854-billion north end sewage treatment plant upgrade in Winnipeg and two new Manitoba flood outlets if elected Sept. 20.

A federal Conservative government would commit to building a $1.854-billion north end sewage treatment plant upgrade in Winnipeg and two new Manitoba flood outlets if elected Sept. 20.

In a news release, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole pledged his government would ensure a few key projects are constructed, including the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels, the sewage plant work and a previously announced overpass at St. Mary’s Road and the Perimeter Highway in the provincial capital.

"These projects will ensure that Manitoba has the modern infrastructure needed to keep people and goods moving, meet the needs of growing communities and prevent flooding," O’Toole said in the release.

The release did not explain how the federal party would ensure the projects are completed. In an emailed statement, Conservative spokesperson Mathew Clancy said the Tories would cover up to 40 per cent of the total costs for each project.

In July, the current Liberal government announced $116.1 million from its Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to support Phase 1 of the north end sewage treatment plant upgrades. The province will pay $96.7 million and the City of Winnipeg will contribute $143 million.

No senior government funding has been announced for the proposed second or third phases, the latter of which is meant to reduce algae-promoting nutrients that flow out of the plant and make their way into Lake Winnipeg.

A federal Conservative government would "be a federal funding partner for the entirety of the project," Clancy said.

Construction of the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin flood outlets is expected to cost about $540 million, for which Ottawa previously committed to pay half the cost. The megaproject has been held up by submission woes, including disputes over the amount of consultation required with Indigenous groups.

In June, the Manitoba government said construction on the outlets could begin as soon as this fall as long as all federal clearances and consultation requirements are met.

The outlet project was planned after flooding caused $2.1 billion in damage and forced 7,000 people to be evacuated in 2011. In an apparent mistake, the Conservative news release describes the flooding damage and evacuations as taking place last year.

joyanne.pursaga@freepress.mb.ca

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Joyanne Pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga
Reporter

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.