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Good morning. Wendy Cox in Vancouver today.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t have many friends among provincial premiers these days. Even the lone provincial Liberal premier, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey, has joined Conservative premiers in denouncing the carbon tax increase that took effect on Monday.

British Columbia’s NDP Premier David Eby seems to be the rare positive voice for the Prime Minister.

On Tuesday, the federal Liberals prompted another round of sometimes resentful rebuke from premiers with their announcement of a multi-billion-dollar fund dedicated to paying for infrastructure projects, such as water and sewage pipes. The unsexy components are critical if the explosion of new housing units that the federal government and many provinces have promised are to materialize.

But the money comes with strings, a forever irritant to provinces like Quebec and Alberta.

Provinces would have to agree to conditions to access the money, including eliminating single-family zoning and allowing fourplexes by default. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has already ruled out such a policy last month.

Alexandru Cioban, speaking for Jason Nixon, Alberta’s seniors, community and social services minister, said the federal government has not provided adequate or appropriate funding to the province for housing. He said Alberta has not received any details of the new plan and he couldn’t resist taking a shot at the Liberals.

“When the feds release those details, we will be looking to see if appropriate per-capita funding is provided or if the feds will continue to focus only on saving Liberal seats,” he said in a statement.

Saskatchewan spokesman Sam Sasse said it appears the federal government is wading into provincial jurisdiction by taking once unrestricted infrastructure funding and tying it to housing requirements.

“While multi-dwelling housing may be a high priority in major urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver, it is not a high priority in most Saskatchewan communities,” Sasse said in a statement, speaking for the conservative Saskatchewan Party government. “So we do not want to see this new fund come at the expense of infrastructure priorities in Saskatchewan due to our unique needs.”

But Eby said he’s seen some of the broad details of the federal housing announcement and that it appears to endorse his province’s own plan, and he said it’s been “frustrating and challenging” that provinces haven’t had infrastructure funding from Ottawa.

Last November, reporter Frances Bula spoke with municipal officials in British Columbia as part of a story aimed at revealing the accompanying costs municipalities would have to shoulder as Ottawa and the provinces respond to a housing crisis.

For example, in four new developments in Vancouver, the city is planning to house 60,000 residents. The infrastructure bill provided to Frances showed the city will need to spend from $315-million to $375-million for water, waste water and stormwater systems; $35-million to $50-million for road interchanges; $15-million to $20-million for pedestrian overpasses; $20-million for a new fire hall; and $150-million over the years for parks, public transit, community centres and libraries.

Eby said any province that balks at the program announced Tuesday or the strings attached can get out of the way.

“We’re building the homes and therefore we should get the funding. If provinces don’t step up, if they don’t do this, the money should come to the provinces who are doing the work.”

This week, several provinces piled on Ottawa as the carbon tax increased April 1, adding 3.3 cents to a levy that will now be 17.6 cents on a litre of gasoline. For weeks, Opposition Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre worked with like-minded premiers to whip up opposition to the increase.

Eby was invited, by letter, to join the protest. He bluntly declined.

The premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have asked the federal government to drop the April 1 increase.

But B.C. introduced North America’s first broad-based price on carbon in 2008, and will administer the coming increase on behalf of the federal government.

“I don’t live in the Pierre Poilievre campaign office and baloney factory,” Eby said March 15 in a quote that was surely welcomed by those in the Prime Minister’s Office battered by the multiple fronts in the usual Canadian family feud between Ottawa and the provinces.

This is the weekly Western Canada newsletter written by B.C. Editor Wendy Cox and Alberta Bureau Chief Mark Iype. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for it and all Globe newsletters here.

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