Small communities won't be left out of 2nd phase of infrastructure program, Sohi says

The federal infrastructure minister is promising the second phase of the Liberal government's $60-billion program won't leave out smaller communities who felt neglected during the first round of spending.

Low ridership numbers made it hard for smaller cities to access public transit funding

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi said Tuesday that the next wave of funding in the Liberal government's infrastructure program will soon begin to roll out. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The federal infrastructure minister is promising the second phase of the Liberal government's $60-billion program won't leave out smaller communities who felt neglected during the first round of spending.

Smaller communities complained to Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi earlier this year after missing out on transit funding because they had little or no ridership numbers, which is how the federal government decided to allocate funds.

Sohi says the government will make Round 2 of transit and water treatment funding nimble enough to help small communities qualify for billions in new spending.

The Liberals set aside $6.6 billion for water treatment and public transit projects as part of the first phase of a 10-year infrastructure program targeting repairs and upgrades to bridges, roads, sewers, water treatment plants and transit systems.

The government is now in the midst of setting the rules for Phase 2, where more than $50 billion will be handed out for large-scale projects.

Sohi says the government has allocated almost $3.2 billion of the money to more than 700 projects across the country, with 400 of them already underway.