October 23, 2015 - 10:35 AM
KELOWNA - Despite election promises about investment in infrastructure, the advent of a new Liberal government will likely delay some Kelowna projects already in the works.
“We do have various applications out there, but with the election, it’s been very quiet,” infrastructure director Alan Newcombe says.
While he expects the Liberal government will honour applications made to the Canada 150 fund, created by the Conservatives last spring, he admits there is no guarantee.
“This is speculation but the presumption is (the applications) would continue on with the new government,” Newcombe says.
Kelowna city council approved in June a fast-track application to the Canada 150 fund for $500,000 for the upgrade of a portion of the lakeside promenade in City Park.
He could not provide the value of outstanding grant applications, but adds the city has also applied to other infrastructure funds such as Build Canada for projects which are further along in the process.
“There has already been a delay during the extended election period,” Newcombe says. "During the transition period (to the new government), there could be another delay, particularly if new MPs want to look through the broad basket of applications from across the country.”
Newcombe says he doubts the Liberals will play favourites with grant applications based on who holds the riding, a sentiment echoed by incoming MP Steven Fuhr, who has vowed to work with all regional MPs regardless of political stripe.
“We are all one big happy family here, as far as I’m concerned,” says Fuhr. “I’m happy to work with Dan Albas (MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola) to make sure both ridings get what they need. I don’t see this as an issue at all.”
Fuhr says he has not had a chance to look at regional infrastructure grant requests already in the works, but says it’s high on the list once the transition from Conservative to Liberal government has taken place.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015