Manitoba pegs $420M for transportation, infrastructure projects in the north
March 30, 2023 By Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
The province of Manitoba announced this week they plan to pump more than $400 million into transportation and infrastructure projects in northern Manitoba.
“We are making strategic investments that strengthen northern Manitoba to create opportunities not only to compete today but to build on for generations to come,” Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Doyle Piwniuk said in a Tuesday news release announcing $420 million will be invested over five years into northern Manitoba.
“We believe a stronger, more vibrant northern economy can help propel the provincial economy forward.”
According to the province, as part of their 2023 Multi-year Infrastructure Investment Strategy, the money will be spent on “strategic initiatives,” which include a plan to improve seven northern airports, with more than $75 million invested into two new airport terminal buildings and approximately 150,000 square metres of planned runway repairs.
The province will put $74 million towards the development of a “sustainable northern corridor” through the Port of Churchill, and spend another nearly $250 million to improve five existing northern roadways.
“We understand the importance of improving transportation linkages today to transport goods and services, promote tourism, mining exploration, and spur economic development,” Piwniuk said. “We are also committing to a bright future by making the Port of Churchill an inter-continental trade gateway.”
As part of the funding, the province said the Thompson Regional Airport Authority will receive $15 million to construct a new terminal building and to redevelop existing infrastructure.
The new terminal will also offer a “culturally sensitive” air travel experience for Indigenous people, and include a dedicated area for Elders, the province said.
While speaking to the Winnipeg Sun earlier this year, Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook said she has been impressed with the amount of money the province has been investing in northern Manitoba in recent months.
“More and more I believe the government is starting to recognize how important the north is, and that is why you see more investments, and you see more ministers coming to visit the north and acknowledging its importance,” Smook said.
“The province and the federal government are starting to understand the importance of investing in the north, and we will keep pushing and advocating for those investments.”
Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.