MP Report: Federal Government Needs To Partner With Province on All-Weather Roads
February 23rd, 2011 - 3:01pm
The Federal government needs to be part of extending all-weather road access in Northern Manitoba.
This has been the clear message from communities throughout the North.
This week I have been continuing to visit winter road communities in the Churchill riding. I have visited Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, Bloodvein, Berens River and Poplar River. This follows visits to The Pas for Trappers’ Festival and to Flin Flon.
In traveling to the communities, I saw firsthand the construction taking place as part of our NDP provincial government's extension of the all-weather road network in Manitoba. I saw the extensive work that is taking place on the Rice River Road into Bloodvein.
With the establishment of the East Side Road Authority, the selection of specific routes and the construction that is taking place, the vision of extending the all-weather road network is becoming a reality.
The road extension is already bringing benefits in the form of community benefit agreements for communities in the East Side area. It will bring tremendous benefits in future years as the construction extends throughout the region.
Most importantly, the all-weather road extension will bring reduced costs, greater access and potential for economic development in partnership with Northern communities. All this comes at a time when winter roads are becoming less reliable.
The Federal government currently cost shares the cost of winter roads with the province. Thus far it has not cost shared the extension of the road network. This does not make sense.
I have raised the issue of Federal involvement in the past. Most recently I raised the issue with Indian and Northern Affairs Minister John Duncan when I met with him recently in Ottawa. I pointed out that Federal involvement would greatly help speeding up the construction of the road network.
Our provincial government and Northern and Aboriginal communities have shown vision and determination in moving ahead. It is time for the Federal government to step in as a key partner on this historic project.