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By Associated Press
May 19, 2017
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA - The federal infrastructure minister says the Liberals want more of the billions in upcoming project funding to be spent directly on flood and disaster mitigation.
Amarjeet Sohi says the dedicated funding would be on top of $2 billion already set aside to help local governments defend against natural disasters like fire and flooding, such as that in Quebec and Ontario this month.
The push for more disaster funding will be part of what Sohi calls a "green lens" that local, provincial and territorial governments will use on proposed infrastructure projects before they can be approved for federal funding.
In an interview, Sohi says the lens puts the focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions during and after construction, as well as mitigating the impact of severe weather.
The green lens will be part of the second phase of the Liberals' infrastructure plan, which is to dole out $81.2 billion on new, large-scale projects in cities and provinces over the next 10 years.
The money will flow only after provinces and territories sign funding agreements with the federal government, which will take months to conclude because of the size and scope of the plan.
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