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Ontario unveils how it will spend $11.8B in federal infrastructure cash

Last Updated Mar 14, 2018 at 4:51 pm EDT

Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 5, 2017. The federal infrastructure minister and his Ontario counterpart will unveil the details today about how the country's most populous province will spend billions in new federal infrastructure money. The details of the deal will be announced this afternoon in Mississauga about how much transit, green and social infrastructure funding Ontario will receive over the next decade. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The federal government is set to spend just over $11.8 billion on new transit and environmentally friendly projects in Ontario over the next decade, with Canada’s biggest city receiving the majority of funding.

The provincial government will kick in a further $10 billion over the same time period.

The federal and provincial Liberals are unveiling the details today about how the country’s most populous province will spend the money between now and 2028, and how much the provincial government will have to kick in.

Further details will be unveiled in the coming days when the agreement itself becomes public.

The majority of the spending announced today in Mississauga will go to projects that the province will have to identify for funding. About $2.1 billion of the money is previously pledged federal funding to build light rail in Ottawa, flooding protection in Toronto’s Port Lands and help for the Scarborough subway extension.

Overall, Toronto is receiving almost $4.9 billion in transit funding under the federal-provincial deal.

Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi has been on a push to sign funding deals with provinces and territories before the end of the month. Signing the agreements is necessary before any of the $33 billion that Sohi oversees can flow to provinces and ultimately to municipal projects.

Last week, Sohi signed a funding agreement with Northwest Territories that opened the door for the territory to transfer public transit money to projects that help communities mitigate the effects of climate change.

Provinces and territories had asked Sohi for flexibility in how they use federal funding at the outset of negotiations this fall.

The territorial deal also laid out expected community employment benefits from any project, and set timelines for project spending over the next decade. Similar wording exists in Ontario’s deal that will require the province to show how large projects are creating jobs for a “broader array” of Canadians in the construction sector.

The Liberals want projects funded under the second phase of their infrastructure program to contribute to economic growth and show environmental benefits, particularly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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How about improving the highway system? Oh, I forgot that only helps out the bourgeois middle class.

March 14, 2018 at 7:21 pm