Manitoba

'The money will flow at some point,' Manitoba finance minister says as city waits for infrastructure cash

Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding says the City of Winnipeg will eventually see provincial infrastructure money that has yet to materialize.

City of Winnipeg still waiting for $11M in 2017 money and some indication how 2018 money will be spent

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, left, and Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding fielded questions about city-provincial funding talks on Friday. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding says the City of Winnipeg will eventually see provincial infrastructure money that has yet to materialize.

On Tuesday, Winnipeg chief financial officer Mike Ruta told council's finance committee the province still owes Winnipeg $11 million for projects it agreed to fund in 2017.

The province also has yet to tell the city how it plans to allocate $84 million worth of capital funding promised for 2018.

Fielding said Friday the city is still submitting invoices to the province.

"Obviously there will be discussions on this, but the money will flow at some point," Fielding told reporters gathered at the Manitoba Legislature for a press conference about municipal whistleblower legislation.

"I don't know I would categorize this as an issue."

Fielding served as the Winnipeg city councillor for St. James-Brooklands from 2006 to 2014, prior to his election as the Progressive Conservative MLA for Kirkfield Park. During his time at the city, he served as council finance chair in the Sam Katz administration.

The finance minister refused to say whether he ever had to wait two years as finance chair to see the province follow through on funding commitments.

"There's always ongoing discussions with the federal and provincial governments," he said, adding what bothered him most at the city were the strings attached to provincial funding.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said both levels of government are meeting to reconcile the outstanding accounts.

"We're going to continue to defend the interest of Winnipeggers and Winnipeg taxpayers on all the files," Bowman said.

The city is expected to present a draft version of its 2019 budget in February.

The provincial budget will arrive in the spring.

With files from Sean Kavanagh

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