Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question, and as an aside, the beautiful tie he is wearing to commemorate the visit of Prime Minister May today.
We are committed to supporting Albertans as we work to improve the infrastructure we need and use every day. That is why we worked in partnership with our Alberta counterparts to sign a bilateral agreement to put into effect two important new programs: the clean water and wastewater fund and the public transit infrastructure fund. To date, we have approved funding for 174 projects that will help improve essential transit and water systems that help strengthen Albertan communities.
The government has also approved more than $1 billion in federal funding through the new Building Canada fund. This funding is supporting major investments, such as the Yellowhead Trail freeway and the southwest Calgary ring road project.
We are also supporting smaller communities through this fund, such as Bragg Creek and Cougar Creek, where flood mitigation projects have been identified as priorities by the community and supported under our programming.
We continue to work closely with Alberta to commit the remaining funding to provincial and municipal priorities.
Communities in Alberta continue to benefit from the federal gas tax fund, which provides reliable, predictable long-term funding. In 2016-17, Alberta received over $219 million under the gas tax fund, which helped to fund local infrastructure projects.
It is important to point out that our programs are structured in such a way as to respect municipal decisions. The municipalities are the experts and know what they need to be healthy, viable, and sustainable. The municipalities tell the Province of Alberta what their most pressing needs are, and the Province determines which projects are a priority and presents them to the federal government in order to obtain funding. By working closely with the municipalities in this way, the provinces and territories ensure that they meet the most pressing needs of their communities and we can ensure that federal investments are making a difference locally.
We will continue to work closely with Alberta to ensure that all federal funding given to communities in the province is transferred quickly and used strategically to promote job creation.
We are very proud of our partnership with Alberta and with everything we have accomplished so far. Moving forward, we will continue to work closely with Alberta on a new bilateral agreement under the long-term investing in Canada infrastructure plan to strengthen Alberta communities and the quality of life for all Albertans.