Ashton calls on Transport Minister to join Manitoba in building all-weather roads

For immediate release

March 19, 2010

Ottawa – Today in the House of Commons, Niki Ashton MP (Churchill) urged the Government to support communities struggling with melting winter road conditions both in the short and long term.

“The people of northern Manitoba rely on hundreds of kilometres of winter roads to get the supplies they need. Usually the roads are open for eight weeks. This year, the mild winter meant that they were open for much less,” stated Ashton, directing her comments to John Baird, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Federal support is required in order to fly in goods and materials needed in communities that can no longer depend on the winter roads. "The Federal Government must support the transportation of what is needed in the communities through the year ahead".

Given the impact of climate change and the increasingly shorter winter seasons, attention must also be paid to the long term. "Will [the Federal Government] look at investing in a long-term solution by joining the province of Manitoba in building an all-weather road network?” asked Ashton of Minister Baird. "First Nations and the province are taking the lead, but we need the Government of Canada to be part of the long-term solution".