Sohi unfazed by watchdog report showing provinces spend less as feds spend more

OTTAWA — Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi says he is not concerned by a recent report that shows provinces are spending less on new roads, bridges and water systems, even as the federal government spends more.

A report this week from the parliamentary budget office cites a decline in planned provincial infrastructure spending over the last three years, coinciding with federal plans to double spending to more than $186 billion over the next decade.

Provinces have pressed the Liberals for more flexibility in how they can use federal dollars, including the ability to use Ottawa’s money in place of some of their own.

Sohi says provinces are expected to put up their share of funding for any federally backed projects, adding that he’s seen no spending declines in the areas under his watch, including transit, roads, highways, and water systems, as well as digital infrastructure in rural and remote communities.

Sohi signed the latest funding deal today with the Yukon government, promising $445 million over the next decade.

The money will cover up to 75 per cent of eligible costs from projects.

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