Federal government providing up to $1.3 billion for Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension

The federal government is providing up to $1.3 billion for the long-awaited SkyTrain extension connecting Surrey and Langley, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.

Trudeau said the demand for "good, efficient" public transit has been increasing along with the populations of cities across Metro Vancouver.

"A new line will connect growing Surrey, the Township of Langley and the City of Langley with the rapid transit families, workers and students deserve," the prime minister said at a news conference at Surrey city hall.

"Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic when you could be home with your kids."

Trudeau was joined by several federal and provincial cabinet ministers, as well as B.C. Premier John Horgan, who touted rapid transit as an important tool in the fight against climate change.

"We're going to be getting people out of cars, we're going to be reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and that is also good news not just for us today but for generations to come," he said, calling the warming planet the "crisis, quite frankly, of our time."

The Expo Line extension was previously estimated to cost around $3.1 billion in total, with TransLink and the provincial government sharing the costs with Ottawa. On Friday, officials suggested it could cost up to $3.84 billion.

The announcement followed one day after Trudeau and Horgan made another major funding announcement for B.C., promising to bring average child care fees in the province down to $10 per day for children under six in the next five years.

The prime minister's visit also comes amid speculation that he's planning to call an early federal election.

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole issued a statement this week pledging his party would provide the funding necessary to complete the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension by 2025.

“Canada's Conservatives are committed to building transit infrastructure to get our communities moving. It's time to put Canadians to work and start building the infrastructure our country needs," O'Toole said.