Loading articles...

Feds to offer provinces fast-track reviews for flood projects, Champagne says

Local residents make their way through flood waters in Gatineau, Que., Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says he is willing to fast-track reviews of projects that could help communities mitigate the impacts of rising flood waters as part of an offer to provinces and cities today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says he is willing to fast-track reviews of projects that could help communities deal with floods as part of an offer to provinces and cities today.

Champagne says he first needs the provincial government in Quebec and municipalities to send in proposals for an infrastructure program that he worries few know about.

The program set up two years ago will dole out about $2 billion over a decade, hoping to help communities like those now facing flooding in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick mitigate, prevent or adapt to the risks of high water.

So far, the government has committed almost $792.7 million for 18 projects, all aimed at dealing with flooding, although none is in Quebec or New Brunswick.

In a telephone interview, Champagne says there is a sense of urgency to approve more projects that can be done this construction season.

Champagne isn’t speculating about why some provinces or cities haven’t applied for funding, saying instead that he wants to make sure everyone who could use the funding is aware it exists.

The Canadian Press