Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee says infrastructure work needs quick start
Tuesday's budget: Finance Minister Bill Morneau pledged $120 billion over 10 years for infrastructure
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee says infrastructure spending announced in Tuesday's federal budget is good news, but in order for his city to reap the benefits in 2016, work needs to start sooner rather than later.
In Tuesday's budget, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau pledged $120 billion over 10 years for infrastructure, focusing first on public transit, water, waste management and housing.
Lee told CBC's Compass that will go a long way to helping Charlottetown with its priorities, but timing is the key.
"We're at the end of March, there's no applications being accepted for the new infrastructure program yet so somebody needs to move this thing quickly for this infrastructure to take place in 2016."
Charlottetown indicated in its capital budget passed last month that it's already counting on $20 million in federal funding for capital projects, including completing water infrastructure, buying new transit buses and completing a new roundabout at Belvedere Avenue and St. Peters Road.
Lee said of all those necessary projects, the water system is the number one priority.
Also announced in the budget was an enhanced youth employment strategy, with an extra $165.4 million dollars for job creation.
Lee said he hoped it would help retain Island young people and provide them with good jobs.
"If we look 10 years down the road at the demographics of this province, if we don't have these young people here, we're not going to have enough people to fill the vacant jobs that are going to be there," he said.
'Spend money to kickstart the economy'
"I think Canadians knew what they were voting for when they elected the Trudeau government, that it was going to be deficit budgeting going forward," he said.
"I'm one of those people who believe in tough times is when governments spend money to kickstart the economy."
"The reality is Canada Post has spent probably millions of dollars over the last year creating these new community mailboxes," he said.
"I know what the government of today said they wanted to do with Canada Post, and that was to return to door-to-door mail delivery, I'm not sure how they do that."
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | PEI Connectors program expands focus to rural areas
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | P.E.I. fishermen have concerns about some proposed safety requirements