Budget 2017: Green infrastructure funds earmarked
Funds from carbon levy could go to transit projects.
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Edmonton’s Valley Line could be in line for money raised by the carbon tax, but both the province and the city are waiting on the feds to make the next move.
The carbon tax is expected to rake in an estimated $1.7 billion over three years and, according to the budget tabled Thursday, the government will spend $1.27 billion over the same time frame on green infrastructure.
Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason told reporters that Edmonton hasn’t yet applied for funding to expand the Valley Line, but said the project could receive cash from the green fund.
“The premier has made it clear,” he said. “The green fund is available to municipalities to fund transit and particularly LRT projects.”
The fund could also mean cash for projects that retrofit buildings so they pollute less, or the Blatchford neighbourhood development.
Mayor Don Iveson told reportersthe city is waiting for the federal government to make the first move.
“What we’re trying to do is organize an agreement between all three levels of government so transit is funded over the long term in a sustained approach,” he said.
Mason said the province is also waiting for the federal budget to see what projects will fit the criteria in the Liberal’s infrastructure program.
“I’ve had discussions with my federal counterparts,” he said, “and I’m very excited and hopeful because the federal government is making a major commitment to infrastructure.”