Manitoba outlines $5.5B construction spending plans

The Manitoba government is detailing how it will spend $5.5 billion on construction over five years.
The Manitoba government is detailing how it will spend $5.5 billion on construction over five years, a day before the provincial budget is tabled. 2:08

The Manitoba government is detailing how it will spend $5.5 billion on construction over five years.

The increase in the provincial sales tax is helping to fund the plan, government officials said Wednesday.

"In past decades, economic uncertainty brought cuts and there was not enough infrastructure investment to keep up the aging roads, highways, bridges and flood protection that Manitobans rely on," said Infrastructure Minister Steve Ashton​.

"We are making this historic investment because we know restoring and expanding our infrastructure is actually even more important during economic uncertainty. These investments keep our businesses competitive and create good jobs for families."

The plan calls for:

  • More than $3.7 billion to be invested in Manitoba roads, highways and bridges.
  • $320 million to be invested in flood protection around the province.​
  • More than $1.5 billion to be invested in municipal roads, clean water and other municipal infrastructure to help meet the needs of Manitoba's many growing communities.
Minister of Infrastructure and transportation Steve Ashton, along with Minister of Jobs and the Economy Theresa Oswald, and CEO of CentrePort Canada Diane Gray speak to media about Manitoba's infrastructure plans. (Chris Glover/CBC)
Economy Minister Theresa Oswald says the investments will create more than 58,900 jobs and help boost provincial exports.

"We're also investing in training in the trades and in apprenticeships to ensure that Manitobans have the skills that industry needs in order to fill the tens of thousands of jobs our plan is creating," she said.

"The five-year plan released today is very important to the continued development of CentrePort Canada as it focuses public investment in two key areas — building Manitoba's economic infrastructure and building our key trade gateways and corridors," said Diane Gray, president and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc. 

The government says the five-year plan will be independently reviewed each year.

Big money for Winnipeg roads

Later Wednesday morning, Selinger announced a $250-million investment in the city of Winnipeg as part of that plan, including a major portion for upgrades to King Edward Street.

According to a government spokesperson, it's the largest ever provincial investment in Winnipeg roads, with $66 million in all-new funding over the next five years.

The province said the following repairs were expected in 2014:

  • King Edward from Logan Avenue to Legion Avenue
  • Berrydale Avenue from St. George Road to Ste. Anne's Road
  • Kildare Avenue from Brewster Street to Day Street

And in 2015, some of the projects will include:

  • Berry Street from Wellington Avenue to Sargent Avenue.
  • Sturgeon Road intersection in the Murray Industrial Park.

With files from The Canadian Press