REGINA, Sask. — When Saskatchewan Premier, Lorne Calvert, attended the Annual Premiers’ Conference in Halifax last week, trade and improving national highways were atop his agenda.
Calvert went to Halifax seeking federal money for the twinning of national highways while also demanding aid for farmers in the light of U.S. subsidies that could cost Canadian farmers $1.3 billion per year.
"The federal government must stop backing away from the financial obligation that goes along with their exclusive responsibility to negotiate international trade deals," blasted Calvert. "Our ultimate goal is to end subsidies. Until then, the federal government must provide full financial support to producers to off-set the injury caused by international subsidies."
As for highway improvements through the province, Calvert says the feds only spend about $5 million on highways in Saskatchewan, while the province is left to pick up the rest of the $300 million tab.
"Twinning our national highways will save lives and expand economic opportunities," says Calvert. "I will continue to make the case that Saskatchewan has made for the last decade. That for the good of the country and the economy, the federal government should participate in a national highways program."
The issues raised at the APC are the result of the premier’s recent "listening tour." Calvert toured the province to find out what issues concern Saskatchewan residents. Not surprisingly, the state of the province’s highways was near the top of the list.
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