Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau elaborated on his $60-billion election campaign pledge to help municipalities build new infrastructure over the next decade, saying Friday that the public transit portion for projects would amount to $20 billion.
The $20 billion would be for new projects that he says municipalities desperately need, and would give local economies a boost, he said in the key Greater Toronto Area riding of Richmond Hill.
"When we invest in public transit, infrastructure like roads and bridges, we are creating well-paying jobs that Canadian families can depend on," he said.
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The funding would represent a quadrupling in federal investment in public transit projects, according to the Liberals. The money would be distributed to the provinces and territories in a manner similar to the federal gas tax transfer, providing flexibility in how its used by municipalities.
"Lack of federal funding will no longer be a roadblock to action," Trudeau said, adding that with limited revenue sources "there is only so much" municipalities can do to fund cost-intensive public transit projects.
Trudeau said last week that if the Liberals are elected Oct. 19, his government would run deficits of up to $10 billion a year for three years to ensure funding for new infrastructure is available.
The Liberal leader made the announcement at the Richmond Hill Centre Terminal, a key transit hub in the north Toronto community, considered to be an important battleground in the election.
Businessman Majid Jowhari is running for the party in the riding, which turned Conservative in the 2011 election.
Trudeau also used his speech to criticize the Conservative government for its rocky relationship with some provincial premiers, highlighting Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's public spat with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne over her proposed mandatory pension plan.
"All provinces, not just Ontario, need a real partner in Ottawa. We have a government in Ottawa that is not working with provinces to meet their needs," he said.
"We have a federal government that has stepped away from the table, crossed its arms and watched governments struggling with very difficult decisions."
Earlier this week, Trudeau highlighted his green investment promises of his overall infrastructure package during a visit to Trois-Rivières, Que.