Nova Scotia unlikely to use new federal infrastructure money on stadium: premier

Nova Scotia will get $828 million in federal infrastructure funding over the next 10 years but the premier says it’s unlikely the money will be used towards a new stadium to house a CFL franchise.

The provincial and federal governments announced an agreement on Tuesday that makes Nova Scotia the seventh province or territory to sign on to the $180-billion, 12-year Investing in Canada Plan. Much of the money goes to small, cash-strapped communities.

Premier Stephen McNeil said the money would assist with water and sewer projects and other provincial priorities including the twinning of 100-series highways, the expansion of broadband internet in rural areas, and construction of a new art gallery in Halifax.

Reporters asked McNeil whether this was an opportunity to help fund a Halifax stadium that might attract a potential CFL franchise. McNeil downplayed the possibility but said the province would look at all projects brought forward under the program.

“While this is a substantial amount of money, the need is great in our province,” he said. “We need to make sure we address the issues that we have no choice but to do. Municipalities are mandated by law to deal with the water and sewer issues and we have to make sure those are our priority.”

McNeil said the long-term nature of the funding would help with planning for projects that will benefit the entire province. He said there would also be the opportunity to draw in private sector help.

The money would also allow the province to help fund infrastructure projects in its 13 Mi’kmaq communities as well as provide some relief for struggling towns and villages.

Under the plan’s first phase, the federal government has approved nearly 3,500 projects across Canada worth $8.4 billion.

– CP