PM Justin Trudeau promises not to meddle in municipal project-funding decisions

Tells Canadian mayors and councillors they will decide infrastructure priorities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa won't meddle in decisions about which major projects are built in Canadian cities, towns and rural municipalities.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa won't meddle in decisions about which major projects are built in Canadian cities, towns and rural municipalities.

Speaking in Winnipeg to a gathering of mayors and city councillors from across Canada, the prime minister promised to let local governments decide which projects are built with the help of $120 billion worth of infrastructure funds pledged by his government over the next decade.

"We shouldn't tell you whether you need light rail or subways, better bridges or better climate-resilient infrastructure," Trudeau told about 2,000 delegates at a conference of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities at RBC Convention Centre. "That's your job as municipal leaders to tell us what you need and how the federal government should help."

Trudeau's statement, which follows up on a similar pledge made Thursday by federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, is part of an effort to reassure municipal leaders Ottawa will not prioritize politically expedient infrastructure projects over projects deemed more pressing by municipalities.

Canadian mayors have complained in the past that federal infrastructure funds are only made available to cities if all three levels of government agree on the project.

Trudeau, who flew to Winnipeg for the second time in a week specifically to address municipal leaders, effectively pledged to end the practice of political cherrypicking from a list of municipal infrastructure projects.

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