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B.C. highway benefits from government cooperation

SALMON ARM, B.C. -- The federal government is teaming up with B.C.s provincial government to upgrade a section of ...

SALMON ARM, B.C. — The federal government is teaming up with B.C.s provincial government to upgrade a section of the Trans-Canada Highway, between the communities of Sorrento and Salmon Arm.

The upgrade aims to improve the safety and reliability of a 4.3-km section of the Trans-Canada, from Hilltop Road to Balmoral Road, and will connect with the recently upgraded section of the highway between Balmoral Road and Ford Road.

The Trans-Canada Highway is the primary highway link for commercial goods between the Lower Mainland’s container ports, the Asia-Pacific markets and the rest of Canada.

“This investment will provide significant relief to road users, enhance the quality of life of neighbouring residents, and accommodate anticipated growth in the movement of goods associated with Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative,” said Colin Mayes, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Shuswap.

The federal and provincial governments will contribute up to $8 million for the project.

The contribution is part of the estimated total project cost of $18 million and comes from a $44-million federal commitment to fund transportation infrastructure projects through the Mountain Pine Beetle Program, under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI).

“Salmon Arm is among several communities that have been affected by Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, which has caused economic and environmental consequences across the province,” said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “This project demonstrates that our government is providing support to affected communities by creating jobs and stimulating economic development.”

The Government of Canada is committing $200 million to deliver the Mountain Pine Beetle Program, a response to the mountain pine beetle infestation. Earlier this year the government announced almost $25 million to slow the spread of the beetle into Alberta and protect communities along the eastern B.C. border.

Another $39.6 million was announced in June to support the efforts of B.C. to combat the spread of the beetle, protect communities and forest resources in affected areas and support long-term economic stability in forest-dependent communities.

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