KENSINGTON - Yet another Prince Edward Island municipality is expressing its frustration with the inability of the federal government to get the money flowing through the New Build Canada Fund for local infrastructure projects.
Kensington Mayor Gordon Coffin told council Monday night, that despite the efforts of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, agreements between the provinces and the federal government for the release of millions of dollars of infrastructure money, nothing has happened to date.
“I attended the Canadian Federation of Municipalities meeting in Niagara Falls,” Coffin said. “I was the largest one yet with over 2,000 registered. I certainly had expectations of coming back and hopefully being able to explain how the federal Build Canada Fund would come. We were all extremely disappointed. We listened to federal minister Lisa Wright turn around and say ‘Oh yeh, it’s all in place.’ But when you talk to anybody else, there are no provincial/municipal agreements in place.”
It is these agreements that will identify what projects are being proposed for funding and if approved, would allow municipalities to get on with much need improvement to roads, water and sewer systems and facilities such as rinks and emergency services buildings.
Coffin said he met several delegates at the conference who were asking the same question “What is going on here?”
The federal was supposed to be in place and ready to flow to the provinces and the municipalities by March 31. The construction season on Prince Edward Island is well underway and there is no sign of the federal funding.
“That said, we as a council, need to decide what projects we would like to tackle when we can hopefully access infrastructure funds someday soon,” the Mayor said. “We did have a number of sewer and water routes mapped out several years ago.”
Coffin suggested that those plans be “dusted off” and reviewed to see how much of the work the town wants to tackle.
“We’re going on the assumption that we will have access to some of those funds. We were all hoping for this (federal funding) when the budget came down but we’re into June now.”