Transit advocacy group wants Premier to secure federal infrastructure funding

WINNIPEG — A transit advocacy group is calling on Premier Kelvin Goertzen to use federal funding for transit infrastructure before the money is no longer available.

Functional Transit Winnipeg, a non-profit organization, sent a letter to Premier Goertzen on Monday urging him to accept transit projects through the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

The letter says there is $540 million available to Manitoba.

“That money would be transformational for transit infrastructure in Winnipeg,” Functional Transit Winnipeg President Kyle Owens said. “I see this as a real opportunity to make sure funds remain available by starting the ball rolling on new projects.”

Owens said investing in transit helps create jobs, addresses economic inequality, improves quality of life, and helps fight climate change.

“This summer, we saw the effects of climate change in such unusual weather,” Owens explained. “Those effects are only going to increase and transit is one of the best ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.”

The letter is asking Goertzen to start accepting transit projects during his time as Premier because the “window for accepting these funds is critically small.”

Owens said he’s not sure how small the window is, but said waiting any further is an unnecessary risk.

“No one knows for sure what the availability of these funds is,” he said. “All we know is there’s a time factor.”

Owens didn’t cite any specific projects he’d want to see funds allotted to, but wants the province to focus on securing funding for the future.

“This is a particularly great moment to invest in transit in Manitoba.”

CTV News has reached out to the province for comment. 

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