Amarjeet Sohi, federal infrastructure minister, meets with Nova Scotia leaders today
Federal government not sure when infrastructure money will roll out
The federal government isn't yet saying how much Nova Scotia will receive of the $60 billion Ottawa plans to give to the provinces for infrastructure.
"I can't say that at this time," Amarjeet Sohi, the federal minister of infrastructure, told Information Morning.
"But I can say and assure people that each region, each province is going to get their fair share of the $60 billion of the new money."
The federal Liberals have made infrastructure spending a key part of their response to Canada's struggling economy. That will mean billions of dollars for different projects across the country.
"I think there are opportunities for us to get that money out into the communities, to do the necessary work that has to be done anyway. We're not throwing money at anything that comes our way, we'll be strategic about it."
Halifax mayor has high hopes for money
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage is hoping for funding to improve the city's aging water system, which could cost $2.5 billion.
Savage also wants some cash to improve Halifax's transit system and help improve social housing.
"There are three streams of funding that we committed to in the election — $20 billion for public transit, $20 billion for social infrastructure and $20 billion for green infrastructure," said Sohi.
Halifax for instance, could apply to get money under the green infrastructure fund to improve its water system, according to Sohi.
Plans to speed up access to money
In the past there has been some criticism about how effective infrastructure spending is at actually improving the economy. In some cases, the economy rebounds before some of the major infrastructure projects even get off the ground.
"We are looking at how we can get that money out to the communities as quickly as possible as we develop our long-term plan and go through the budget process for the new money."
It's still not clear exactly when that new infrastructure money will start to roll out.
If the federal government succeeds in getting the infrastructure money out in a timely fashion Sohi believes it could give the economy the kick start it needs.
"We want to grow the economy, we want to create jobs, we want to make sure that our economy is actually being productive as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That's the criteria we will apply to the new funding."
Sohi will meet with Mayor Savage and other officials today to discuss infrastructure spending and learn what infrastructure needs exist in Nova Scotia.