04/07/2016 15:41 EDT | Updated 04/08/2017 01:12 EDT

Minister likes MP's proposal on social benefits from infrastructure

OTTAWA — The infrastructure minister is looking to take an idea from a rookie MP and require federally funded infrastructure projects to create social benefits on top of the economic spinoffs tied to billions in new spending.

A private member's bill from Liberal MP Ahmed Hussen would, if passed, require bidders on federal projects to show they will create jobs or training opportunities in the communities where work is done.

Such community benefit agreements have been used for years in the United States to ensure that infrastructure work creates jobs for groups facing high unemployment rates such as young people and aboriginals.

Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi says cities and provinces have shown an interest in the idea during preliminary discussions about making community benefits a part of the Liberals' new infrastructure program.

Sohi will be in Toronto on Friday to meet stakeholders and hear more about community benefits at a roundtable hosted by Hussen.

The Liberals have promised to spend an additional $60 billion for infrastructure over the next 10 years.




The Canadian Press