In the last days before an expected federal election begins, a flurry of federal funding announcements rained down on Langley.
Longtime Langley MP Mark Warawa had a busy Friday, with three funding announcements set for a single day.
At 9 a.m., Warawa announced the federal contribution of $22.3 million to the $59 million 216th Street highway interchange project. The project has been long-planned for Langley.
At 10 a.m., Warawa was at the B.C. Farm Museum in Fort Langley to announce a $20,000 grant to renovate the workshop area, and $40,000 for a mural depicting pioneer life, as part of the upcoming celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
At 2 p.m., Warawa was at Williams Park to make announcements on three projects, including an amenities upgrade at the park itself, a new environmental control system for the Langley Centennial Museum, and an upgrade for the amphitheatre at Willoughby Community Park.
Those projects will cost $260,000, with half from the federal government and half from Langley Township.
The later two announcements were both part of the funding linked to the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, which takes place in 2017.
When asked if the announcements had been moved up due to the expected election call, Warawa noted that all the projects had been in the works for some time.
“When the writ will be dropped, I don’t know,” Warawa said.
“As far as the timing, I’m glad that they [the announcements] were made before the writ was dropped, whenever that might be.”
The writ was officially dropped on Sunday when Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Governor General to dissolve Parliament.
All the funding announcements were called with little advance warning.
The notification of the 216th Street announcement was sent out a little less than 24 hours in advance. Notification of the Farm Museum announcement Friday at 10 a.m. was sent out at around 5 p.m. on Thursday. The notification of the Williams Park announcements was also released, by Langley Township, on Thursday morning.
Across Canada, MPs scrambled to announce a wide variety of projects and funding. The announcements across Canada on July 31 alone added up to more than $1 billion. No new major spending can be started during an election campaign and all bills before the House of Commons die. The Senate, because it’s not an elected body, does not close but its legislative functions are put on hold until after the election.